Subfamily Cactoideae, tribe Pachycereeae.
Escontria chiotilla (F. A. C. Weber) Rose 1906
chiotilla, jiotilla, quiotilla
Cereus chiotilla F. A. C. Weber 1897, Myrtillocactus chiotilla (F. A. C. Weber) P. V. Heath 1992
Plants arboreal, becoming much branched, 4-7 m (13-23 ft) high, often with fairly flat tops, forming distinct trunks. Stems cylindrical, bright green, 8-12 cm (3.1-4.7 in) in diameter. Ribs usually 7-8, more or less triangular in cross section with straight margins. Areoles distinctive, closely positioned, sometimes confluent, dull gray, oblong. Central spine usually one, red-orange to yellow, becoming gray, to 20 mm (0.8 in) long. Radial spines 10-20, somewhat pectinately arranged, yellowish brown, becoming grayish white, to 12 mm (0.5 in) long. Flowers borne subapically, open during the day, tubular to somewhat bell shaped, yellow; floral tubes and
pericarpels with distinctive broad, tan, translucent, triangular, membranous bracts. Fruits globose, purple-brown, fleshy, scaly, sweet and edible, to 5 cm (2 in) or more in diameter. Distribution: important in the cactus forests of southern Mexico in Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacan. The delicious fruits of Escontria chiotilla are sold in the markets of Oaxaca in June and July.
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