(A. Berger) Britton & Rose

Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 12: 428. 1909.

Common names: Night-blooming cereus
Etymology: Greek hyle, forest, and Cereus, the genus from which this segregate was removed
Basionym: Cereus subsect. Hylocer eus A. Berger Rep. (Annual) Missouri Bot. Gard. 16: 78. 1905
Synonyms: Wilmattea Britton & Rose
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 175. Mentioned on page 96, 152.

Shrubs, epiphytic, hemi-epiphytic, or epipetric, straggling, climbing, scandent, or pendent, irregularly many branched. Roots diffuse, often adventitious along stem internodes. Stems segmented, green, blue-green, gray-green, or somewhat whitish with wax; segments elongate, 3-winged or -angled, length highly variable, 10–500+ × [1–]4–7.5[–10] cm, distinctly narrowed proximally, glabrous; ribs (2–)3(–5), winglike to narrowly triangular in cross section, rib crests straight to undulate, crenate [toothed, notched, or lobed], often with a line of hard, brown to gray bark between areoles; areoles (10–)35–50 mm apart along ribs, oval, short woolly, sometimes subtended by minute, vestigial leaves at growing stem tip; areolar glands inconspicuous; cortex and pith mucilaginous. Spines 0–4[–8] per areole, whitish or yellowish to brownish [blackish or red, aging gray], acicular [awl-shaped or hairlike], straight, terete, generally short, 0–4[–10] mm, hard, bases sometimes conic or swollen, smooth, glabrous; radial and central spines not distinguishable. Flowers nocturnal, lateral to subterminal on 1+-year-old stems, at adaxial edges of areoles, long tubed, funnelform, [3–]25–29[–38] × [8–]15–25[–30] cm; outermost tepals often greenish, yellow, pink, or occasionally purplish red or white, 10–15 × 1–1.5 cm, margins entire; inner tepals white to cream [rarely pinkish or red], 10–15 × 1.5–2.5 cm, margins entire; ovary tuberculate [to smooth], scaly, spineless, usually without hairs or wool; scales triangular, broad, thick conspicuous, to 25 mm; stigma lobes to 24, white. Fruits irregularly dehiscent along 1 side, red [to purple or magenta], oblong to ovoid or spheric, [20–]50–125 × 40–120 mm, fleshy, spineless; pulp white; scales persistent, green, triangular, conspicuous, thick and fleshy, to 4+ cm; floral remnant often persistent. Seeds black, [elongate or] pyriform [to reniform], 2–3 mm, glossy; testa smooth or minutely textured. x = 11.


Introduced; subtropical and tropical regions of Mexico, West Indies, Central America, n South America.


Species 18 (1 in the flora).

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Hylocereus"
Michael W. Hawkes +
(A. Berger) Britton & Rose +
Cereus subsect. Hylocer +
Night-blooming cereus +
subtropical and tropical regions of Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +  and n South America. +
Greek hyle, forest, and Cereus, the genus from which this segregate was removed +
Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. +
Wilmattea +
Hylocereus +
Cactaceae subfam. Cactoideae +