Autor: Britton & Rose
Genus honouring Antonio Raimondi (1825-1890), Italian naturalist and geographer who dedicated his life travelling and studying Peru: “neo”, because the genus Raimondia already existed, to designate a genus of Annonaceae (1913).
A genus of bushy to treelike candelabra-shaped plants, sturdy, branched from the base, with erect stems usually greyish-green, reaching up to 15 m high, with few well defined ribs. Large areoles close-set in outgrowths continuing their development, with brown felt, spiny. Very long spines, up to 25 cm, in variable number, flexible.
Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, funnel-shaped, relatively small compared to plants, appearing on the outgrowths of areoles along stems, more or less intense pink or off-white, pollinated by bats (Glossophaga soricina, Platalina genovesium) and insects: hymenoptera (Camponotus sp. Crematogaster spp., Pseudomyrmex spp.), Diptera, Lepidoptera (Strymon jacqueline). The pericarpel and the floral tube bear scales and felted areoles, sometimes with
bristles. Fruits subglobose to egg-shaped, juicy (pink pulp in N. herzogiana, edible), with felted areoles bearing short spines. Seeds brownish to black, elongated and curved, rough or ruminate, finely foveolate, encased in a mucilage, scattered by birds (Phyllotis darwinii), bats (Platalina genovesium, Sturnira lilium) and ants.
The genus Neoraimondia grows in scattered colonies in rocky open desert spaces, on mountain and hillslopes, among rocks, from 50 m up to approximately 2800 m in altitude.
Bolivia (Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Tarija), Peru (Ancash, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Huancavelica, lea, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Moquegua, Piura, Tacna, Tumbes).
Currently 2 recognised species + 2 subspecies:
– Neoraimondia arequipensis* (Meyen) Backeb. 1936
– Neoraimondia arequipensis subsp. gigantea (Werderm. & Backeb.) Ostolaza 1998
– Neoraimondia arequipensis subsp. roseiflora (Werderm. & Backeb.) Ostolaza 1998
– Neoraimondia herzogiana* (Backeb.) Buxb. 1967
References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" - ISBN 978-84-617-3692-8 (Vol. 2)