Autor: Britton & Rose
“Quiabento”, vernacular name given to plants of this genus in Brazil, and commonly used.
A genus of shrubby plants (Q. zehntneri) or treelike (Q. verticillata), with cylindrical succulent branches, densely branched, often verticillate. Leaves succulent, flattened, ovate to spatulate, persistent to seasonal. Areoles bearing glochids and numerous spines.
Flowers diurnal, solitary, self-sterile, sessile, appearing near or at the ends of branches, rotate, pericarpel with areoles bearing leaves, glochids and spines, pink or red, sometimes very pale to almost white, pollinated by insects. Fruits elongated, fleshy or dry. Seeds large, irregularly rounded and flattened, wrapped in a sclerotic aril. Dispersal of seeds ensured by – among others and only in some regions – the tapir (Tapirus terrestris).
The genus Quiabentia grows in seasonally dry deciduous forests, scrubs, on usually sandy or clayey soils, but also on gravel, rocky limestone outcrops (Bambui formation), sometimes associated with Pereskia sacharosa-, in Brazil, it is found in the caatinga, on granitic or gneissic inselbergs, from sea level up to 2200 m in altitude.
Argentina (Chaco, Formosa, Jujuy, Salta), Bolivia (Cochabamba, Chuqulsaca, Santa Cruz, Tarija), Brazil (Bahia, Minas Gerais), Paraguay (Alto Paraguay, Boqueron, Presidente Hayes).
Currently 2 recognised species:
– Quiabentia verticillata* (Vaupel) Borg 1937 (= Q. chacoensis)
– Quiabentia zehntneri* (Britton & Rose) Britton & Rose 1923