A genus honouring Michelangelo Console (1812-1897), Italian botanist, specializing in cacti, curator of the Botanical Garden of Palermo, Italy. Portrait is unknown.
A genus of treelike plants with one or several very spiny cylindrical trunks, bearing lateral or terminal, sometimes dense branches, with suborbicular to elongated or ellipsoid cladodes, with margins often curved, with smooth or reticulate surface. Areoles having hairs, glochids and spines. Spines very variable, sometimes absent.
Flowers diurnal, self sterile, rather small, changing colour, yellow, orange, red, pollinated by ants (Crematogaste ashmeadi), also probably by bees and hummingbirds. Fruits oblong and fleshy. Seeds straw-coloured, strongly compressed laterally, with a funicular envelope densely covered with trichomes.
The genus Consolea grows in the Caribbean islands, in dry forests with a warm climate, sometimes on reliefs. We also find it in Florida (USA), close to the sea, near mangrove swamps, on rocky outcrops, from the sea level up to 50 m in altitude.
Caribbean islands: Bahamas Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, USA (Florida).
Currently 9 recognised species (Negron-Ortiz, 2007) + 3 subspecies:
– Consolea corallicola* Small 1930
– Consolea falcata* (Ekm. & Werderm.) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Consolea macracantha* (Griseb.) A.Berger 1926
– Consolea millspaughii* (Britton) A.Berger 1926
– Consolea millspaughii subsp. caymanensis* Areces 2000
– Consolea moniliformis* (L.) A.Berger 1926
– Consolea moniliformis subsp. guantanamana Areces 1996
– Consolea nashii* (Britton) A.Berger 1926
– Consolea nashii subsp. gibarensis Areces 1996
– Consolea picardae* (Urban) Areces 2000
– Consolea rubescens* (Salm-Dyck ex DC.) Lem. 1862
– Consolea spinosissima* (Mill.) Lem. 1862
References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" - ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)