Autor: P.V. Heath
“Salmon Opuntia?”, probably because of the characteristic colour the stems of this genus can take during drought or stress, but really, no explanation was given. Originally, described as Salmiopuntia (nom. invai.), which designated a genus honouring the prince Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck.
Monospecific genus of shrubby plants, branching especially from the base, with slender stems, segments cylindrical, not tuberculate, easily detached, often tinged with pink to purple or purplish. Areoles tiny, woolly, white, with yellow glochids. Spines variable in number, sometimes absent. Flowers diurnal, self-sterile (forming fruits even without pollination) rotate, pale yellow or whitish, with floral buds pinkish to scarlet, pollinated by insects, including specialized flies. Fruits elongated to claviform, reddish to purplish or violet, almost unarmed but more or less covered with glochids, proliferous. Seeds undescribed, plants supposed sterile, but fruits containing 2-3 seeds are sometimes found in habitat.
The monotypic genus Salmonopuntia grows from 80 m up to 2330 m in altitude, in forests, foothills, in often loamy soil, among mosses and ferns, but also between rocks, usually granitic, among grasses, on sandy or gravelly soils.
Argentina (Catamarca, Cordoba, Entre Rios, Jujuy, Rioja, Salta, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, San Luis), Bolivia (Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Tarija), Brazil? Paraguay (Boqueron, Alto Paraguay).
Currently one recognised species:
– Salmonopuntia salmiana* (J. Parmentier ex Pfeiffer) P.V. Heath 1999