Disagreement and, at times, confusion seem to be typical in the history of Brazilian members of the tribe Cereeae. Brasilicereus was described by Curt Backeberg in 1938 with a single species (type, Cereusphaeacanthus = B.phaeacanthus). In 1949 he and Otto Voll added a second, B. markgrafii. Researchers have disagreed whether Backeberg's genus should be accepted or the two species placed in other genera. The International Cactaceae Systematics Group (Hunt and Taylor 1986) initially placed Brasilicereus in Monvillea, largely for practical reasons until its relationship to Cereus was better understood. Pierre Braun (1988), on the other hand, felt it more appropriate to include Brasilicereus in Cereus as a subgenus, distinguished from other species of Cereus by the very short, reduced, scaly flowers. Nigel Taylor and Daniela Zappi (1989) disagreed, feeling that Brasilicereus had few features in common with Cereus. They presented evidence of several distinguishing features observed by themselves and Wilhelm Barthlott, and the International Cactaceae Systematics Group supported its recognition as a distinct genus (Hunt and Taylor 1990).

The name Brasilicereus means Brazilian cereus. The two species are characterized as having bat-pollinated, short, reduced, scaly flowers with the stamens inserted in two groups, including a throat circle. The pericarpels are small and longitudinally compressed, the pollen grains have 12-15 slitlike apertures, and fruits are indehiscent and dull colored.

Brasilicereus Backeberg 1938

Subfamily Cactoideae, tribe Cereeae. Plants shrubby, upright to sometimes leaning, rarely branching, 1-4 m (3.3-13 ft) high. Stems slender, to 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter. Ribs 8-13, flat or narrow. Areoles with gray or white wool. Spines brittle, needle-like, whitish to grayish brown. Central spines 1-4, to 4 cm (1.6 in) long. Radial spines 10-18, 0.6-1.5 cm (0.2-0.6 in) long. Flowers open at night, short tubularto bell shaped; pericarpels and floral tubes with conspicuous fleshy scales, butareoles naked; floral tubes short, stout, sometimes curved; perianth parts widely spreading; throat circle of stamens present. Fruits ovoid to pear shaped, green to purple, indehiscent; floral remains persistent. Distribution: eastern Brazil.

Brasilicereus Phaeacanthus
Brachycereus nesioticus

132 Brasilicereus markgrafü

Brasilicereus markgrafii Backeberg & Voll 1949 Cereus markgrafii (Backeberg & Voll) P. J. Braun 1988

Plants unbranched, to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) high. Stems grayish green, to 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter. Ribs usually 13. Areoles with gray wool. Central spine one, sometimes as many as 4, to 4 cm (1.6 in) long. Radial spines 12-18, obliquely protruding, 0.6-1 cm (0.2-0.4 in) long. Flowers bell shaped to fun-nelform, pale greenish white, to 6 cm (2.4 in) long and 5 cm (2 in) in diameter. Distribution: Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Brasilicereus phaeacanthus (Gürke) Backeberg 1941 Cereus phaeacanthus Gürke 1908, Cephalocereus phaeacanthus (Gürke) Brltton & Rose 1920, Pilocereusphaeacanthus (Gürke) Backeberg 1935

Brasilicereus breviflorus F. Ritter 1979, B. phaeacanthus subsp. brevi-florus (F. Ritter) P. J. Braun & Esteves 1995

Plants usually branching basally, more or less erect but sometimes clambering, to 4 m (13 ft) high. Stems 4-9 cm (1.6-3.5

Brasilicereus phaeacanthus, photograph by Urs Eggli in) in diameter. Ribs 8-13, low, narrow. Areoles with whitish wool. Central spines 1-3, yellowish brown, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Radial spines 10-12, yellowish, 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in) long. Flowers white, to 6.5 cm (2.6 in) long and 6 cm (2.4 in) in diameter; floral tubes bent slightly upward. Fruits somewhat tuberculate, to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) in diameter. Distribution: central to southern Bahia, Brazil.

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