Autor: Backeberg

“Armed Wax candle” referring to the many long spines some species in the genus have.
A genus of branched shrubs or treelike plants reaching up to 12 m high. Stems columnar, constricted, segmented with 3-16 strongly developed ribs. Spines sturdy, but sometimes absent.
Flowers nocturnal, self sterile, rather large, tubular to funnel-shaped, with hairy and spiny floral tube, white, rarely
red, pollinated by bats (Glossophaga soricina, Lonchophylla hesperia). Fruits fleshy, edible, losing their spines when
ripe, with a white pulp. Seeds large, rather irregular, ovoid (egg-shaped) to reniform (kidney-shaped), warty, black.
The genus Armatocereus grows among boulders on hills, in valleys, in deep quebradas (ravines), in arid zones
sometimes presenting a surrounding shrubby vegetation, from sea level up to 3300 m in altitude.
Colombia (Dagua), Ecuador (Azuay, Chimborazo, Catamayo, Guayaquil, Huigra, Isla Puna, Loja, Rio Chanchán), Peru (Amazonas, Ancash, Arequipa, Cajamarca, Huancavelica, lea, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Matucana, Moquegua, Piura, Tumbes, also along the banks of Rio Majes, Rio Marañon and Rio Nazca).

Currently 10 recognised species (+ 2 subspecies):
– Armatocereus brevispinus J.E.Madsen 1989
– Armatocereus cartwrightianus (Britton & Rose) Backeb. ex. A.W.Hill 1938
– Armatocereus godingianus* (Britton & Rose) Backeb. ex Salisbury 1947
– Armatocereus laetus* (Kunth) Backeberg ex A.W.Hill 1938
– Armatocereus mataranus F.Ritter 1966
– Armatocereus mataranus subsp. ancashensis (F.Ritter) Ostolaza 1998
– Armatocereus matucanensls* Backeb. ex A.w. Hill 1938
– Armatocereus ollgogonus Rauh & Backeb. 1957
– Armatocereus procerus Rauh & Backeb. 1957
– Armatocereus rauhii Backeb. 1957
– Armatocereus rauhii subsp. balsasensis (F.Ritter) Ostolaza 1998
– Armatocereus riomajensis Rauh & Backeb. 1957


References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" -  ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)