Like many other columnar cacti, Neobuxbaumia is less well known than the size of the plants would suggest and is uncommon in cultivation. Franz Buxbaum (1958,1961) struggled with the relationships of the plants in the tribe Pachy-cereeae, concluding that Backebergia (= Pachycereus mili-taris), Cephalocereus, and Neobuxbaumia are a distinct evolutionary lineage. In fact, the species he included in Neobuxbaumia had formerly been in either Cephalocereus or Pachycereus. However, the work of Arthur Gibson and Karl Horak (1978) does not support Buxbaum's hypothesis. Rather, they found that the saguaro (Carnegiea) and Neobuxbaumia are closely related, based on similarities in growth habit, vegetative morphology, and structure of flowers and fruits. The International Cactaceae Systematics Group subscribed to the Gibson and Horak findings and in their first two consensus papers (Hunt and Taylor 1986, 1990), Neobuxbaumia was included in Carnegiea. More recently, however, Neobuxbaumia has been considered a separate genus with nine species (Hunt 1999a).
Neobuxbaumia (type, Pilocereus tetetzo = N. tetetzo) was described by Curt Backeberg in 1938, the name honoring Franz Buxbaum, prefixed neo, new, because Buxbaumia had already been used for a moss. The cacti flower at night in summer and often form vast and spectacular forests in southern Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia Backeberg 1938 Rooksbya Backeberg 1960
Subfamily Cactoideae, tribe Pachycereeae. Plants large, treelike, branched or unbranched, to 15 m (49 ft) high, usually with well-developed trunks to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. Stems stout, cylindrical, gray-green. Ribs numerous, low. Areoles closely set. Spines stiff or flexible, similar in all areolesormore abundant in theflowering region, which also has numerous spines and bristles. Fertile area usually sim-ilarto the rest of the stem, usually apical. Flowers small, cylindrical to bell shaped, open at night, white or pink; pericarpels and floral tubes with fairly large podaria and small fleshy scales, naked or with a few bristles at flowering time. Fruits ovoid, spiny, dehiscing by vertical slits, pulp white and dry; perianth parts persistent. Seeds dark or light brown, glossy, finely sculptured. Distribution: eastern and southern Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia euphorbioides (Haworth) Buxbaum ex Bravo 1978
Cereus euphorbioides Haworth 1819, Cactus euphorbioides (Haworth) Sprengel 1825, Pilocereus euphorbioides (Haworth) Riimpler 1885, Cephalocereus euphorbioides (Haworth) Britton & Rose 1920, Le-maireocereus euphorbioides (Haworth) Werdermann 1934, Carne giea euphorbioides (Haworth) Backeberg 1950, Rooksbya euphorbioides (Haworth) Backeberg 1960
Plants almost always unbranched, 3-5 m (9.8-16 ft) high. Stems green, 10-11 cm (3.9-4.3 in) in diameter. Ribs 8-10, prominent, distinctly wavy. Spines in the fertile region erect, elsewhere more or less horizontal. Central spine one, stout, dark brown, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Radial spines 7-9, straight, pale gray with darker tips, 0.5-1.2 cm (0.2-0.5 in) long. Flowers borne near the stem tips, usually numerous, narrowly bell shaped, reddish pink, 5-8 cm (2-3.1 in) long, 7 cm (2.8 in) in diameter; pericarpels and floral tubes with small podaria bearing nectar glands and small scales. Fruits green, to 6 cm (2.4 in) long. Distribution: Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, and Veracruz, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia laui (P. V. Heath) D. R. Hunt 1997
Carnegiea laui P. V. Heath 1992
Neobuxbaumia sanchezmejoradae A. B. Lau 1994
Plants treelike with three to six parallel, erect branches, 7-12 m (23-39 ft) high with distinct trunks to 2 m (6.6 ft) high and 10 cm (3.9 in) in diameter. Stems dark green, smooth, 46 m (13-20 ft) long, to 10 cm (3.9 in) in diameter. Ribs 29-
31, without depressions between areoles. Areoles round, grayish white at first, becoming dark gray or blackish gray, 3.5-5 mm apart. Spines about 10 with 3-4 longer, not differentiated as centrals and radials, thin, needle-like, straight, flexible, black to grayish white, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Flowers borne apically, open at night and remaining open into the next day, numerous, reddish white, to 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long and 1.3 cm (0.5 in) in diameter. Fruits elliptical, red, 2.5-3 cm (1-1.2 in) long and in diameter. Distribution: Santiago Nuyoo, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia macrocephala (F. A. C. Weber ex K. Schumann) E.Y. Dawson 1952 Cephalocereus macrocephalus F. A. C. Weber ex K. Schumann 1897, Pilocereus macrocephalus (F. A. C. Weber ex K. Schumann) F. A. C. Weber 1898, Cereus macrocephalus (F. A. C. Weberex K. Schumann) A. Berger 1905, Carnegiea macrocephala (F. A. C. Weberex K. Schumann) P. V. Heath 1992 Pilocereus ruficeps F. A. C. Weber 1905, Cereus ruficeps (F. A. C. Weber) Vaupel 1913, Pachycereus ruficeps (F. A. C. Weber) Button & Rose 1920, Mitrocereus ruficeps (F. A. C. Weber) Backeberg 1960
Plants very tall, usually branching but sometimes solitary, 7-15 m (23-49 ft) high with trunks 30-60 cm (12-24 in) in diameter. Stems columnar, dull green, to 12 m (39 ft) long, 30-40 cm (12-16 in) in diameter. Ribs 17-26, low, obtuse. Central spines 1-3, one flattened, 4-5 cm (1.6-2 in) long. Radial spines 8-12, spreading, grayish, to 1 cm (0.4 in) long. Pseudocephalia terminal, with large areoles, abundant yellow wool, and numerous bristles. Flowers borne in crowns near the stem tips in the pseudocephalia, cylindrical to bell shaped, white, 1.2-1.6 cm (0.5-0.6 in) long, 2.1-2.8 cm (0.81.1 in) in diameter; pericarpels and floral tubes covered with small podaria and wide scales. Fruits globose, covered with scales, to 2 cm (0.8 in) long. Distribution: mainly the valley of Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia mezcalaensis (Bravo) Backeberg 1941 Cephalocereus mezcalaensis Bravo 1932, Pilocereus mezcalaensis (Bravo) W. T. Marshall 1941, Carnegiea mezcalaensis (Bravo) P. V. Heath 1992 Carnegiea nova P. V. Heath 1992
Plants solitary, columnar, 5-10 m (16-33 ft) high. Stems yellowish green, 13-40 cm (5.1-16 in) in diameter. Ribs 13-25, wide, angular. Central spines 1-4, slightly flattened, straight, dark colored, a little longer than the radials. Radial spines 59, spreading, whitish to yellowish, with darker tips, 0.8-2 cm (0.3-0.8 in) long. Flowers often borne along the length of the stem, funnelform, white to yellowish to purple, to 5.5 cm (2.2 in) long; pericarpels and floral tubes with podaria bear ing small scales and wool. Fruits globose to ovoid, 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 in) long, with podaria bearing persistent wool and spines. Distribution: occurring widely in Puebla, Oaxaca, Morelos, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, and Guerrero, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia multiareolata (E. Y. Dawson) Bravo,
Scheinvar 8c Sánchez-Mejorada 1972 Cephalocereus mezcalaensis var. multiareolatus E. Y. Dawson 1941
Plants solitary, columnar, 7-12 m (23-39 ft) high. Stems dull green, 10-15 cm (3.9-5.9 in) in diameter. Ribs numerous, wide, triangular in cross section. Central spine one, sometimes absent, dark red, 1.2-3.5 cm (0.5-1.4 in) long. Radial spines 3-6, somewhat flexible, brown or brownish red, be
Neobuxbaumia scoparia tribution: Hidalgo, Querétaro, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia SCOparia (Poselger) Backeberg 1941 Pilocereus scoparius Poselger 1853, Cereus scoparius (Poselger) A. Berger 1905, Cephalocereus scoparius (Poselger) Britton & Rose 1909, Carnegiea scoparia (Poselger) P. V. Heath 1992
Plants arboreal, much branched, candelabra-like, becoming massive, 6-12 m (20-39 ft) high with well-defined trunks to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. Stems ascending, large, 8-15 cm (3.1-5.9 in) in diameter. Ribs extremely variable, 14-30, somewhat tuberculate, broadly triangular in cross section, with depressions between areoles. Central spines 1-2, flattened, black, becoming gray with age, more or less rigid, straight or slightiy curved inward, 1.8-2.1 cm (0.7-0.8 in) long. Radial spines usually 5-9, flexible, bent slightly down coming gray with age, to 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long. Flowers borne both along the stem and in crowns near the stem tips, tubular to slightly bell shaped, reddish purple, 2.5-4.5 cm (1-1.8 in) long; pericarpels and floral tubes with podaria and triangular scales with ciliate margins, naked when flower expands and opens. Fruits subglobose, dehiscing irregularly, 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2 in) long. Distribution: Guerrero, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia polylopha (A. P. deCandolle) Backeberg
1938 CONE CACTUS
Cereus polylophus A. P. de Candolle 1828, Pilocereus polylophus (A. P. de Candolle) Salm-Dyck 1845, Cephalocereus polylophus (A. P. de Candolle) Britton & Rose 1909, Carnegiea polylopha (A. P. de Candolle) D. R. Hunt 1988
Plants solitary, columnar, to 13 m (43 ft) high. Stems light green, becoming darker with age, to 50 cm (20 in) in diameter. Ribs 10-30, narrow, separated by sharp furrows, slightly sinuate. Central spine one, sometimes absent, flexible, often shorter than the radials. Radial spines 7-8, flexible, yellowish to brownish, becoming gray with age, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long. Fertile zones arising about 3 m (9.8 ft) above ground level and extending to the stem tips, with many closely packed yellowish to reddish spines to 7 cm (2.8 in) long. Flowers borne near the stem tips, often in clusters, dark red, 4-6 cm (1.6-2.4 in) long, 3-3.5 cm (1.2-1.4 in) in diameter; pericarpels and floral tubes with numerous, fairly large podaria and small scales, naked in their axils. Fruits ovoid, scaly and with wool and bristles, 2.4-4 cm (0.9-1.6 in) long. Dis
Neobuxbaumia scoparia ward, dark, becoming lighter with age, 0.5-1.3 cm (0.2-0.5 in) long. Fertile areas in the upper parts of adult stems covered with numerous flexible spines 5-13 cm (2-5.1 in) long. Flowers borne near the stem tips, bell shaped, reddish, 1.82.1 cm (0.7-0.8 in) long, to 3.1 cm (1.2 in) in diameter; peri-carpels and floral tubes covered with large podaría and scales, naked later. Fruits globose, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long, red. Distribution: Veracruz and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia squamulosa Scheinvar & Sánchez-Mejorada 1990
Camegiea squamulosa (Scheinvar & Sánchez-Mejorada) P. V. Heath 1992
Neobuxbaumia tetetzo, also illustrated on page 17
Plants treelike, solitary or branching with two to nine stems, 7-10 m (23-33 ft) high, sometimes with trunks to 2 m (6.6 ft) high, 18-90 cm (7.1-35 in) in diameter. Stems gray-green, more or less erect, 5-7.5 m (16-25 ft) long, 12-17.5 cm (4.76.9 in) in diameter. Ribs 13-17, acute, wavy. Central spine one, yellowish to purplish, straight to somewhat curved inward, 1.2-2.4 cm (0.5-0.9 in) long. Radial spines 5, grayish to whitish gray, to 1.8 cm (0.7 in) long, somewhat flexible. Flowers borne laterally or sub terminally near the stem tips, tubular, white, 8 cm (3.1 in) long, 2.5-3.4 cm (1-1.3 in) in diameter; pericarpels and floral tubes with prominent podaria, papery scales, wool, and bristles. Fruits elliptical, dehiscing longitudinally, green, 2.5 cm (1 in) long; perianth parts persistent. Distribution: Colima, Guerrero, and Michoacan, Mexico.
Neobuxbaumia tetetzo (F. A. C. Weber ex J. M. Coulter)
Backeberg 1938 CARDON, HIGOS DETETECHE, TETECHE, TETETZO Pilocereus tetetzo F. A. C. Weber exJ. M. Coulter 1894, Cereus tetetzo (F. A. C. Weber ex J. M. Coulter) J. M. Coulter 1896, Pachycereus tetetzo (F. A. C. Weber exJ. M. Coulter) Ochoterena 1922, Cephalo-cereus tetetzo (F. A. C. Weber ex J. M. Coulter) Bravo 1930, Camegiea tetetzo (F. A. C. Weber exJ. M. Coulter) P. V. Heath 1992
Plants columnar, often branching with as many as 16 stems, to 15 m (49 ft) high with trunks to 70 cm (28 in) in diameter. Stems gray-green, 8-12 m (26-39 ft) long, 18-30 cm (7.1-12 in) in diameter. Ribs 15-20, obtuse, somewhat rounded. Central spine usually one, blackish, to 5 cm (2 in) long. Radial spines 8-13,blackish, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long. Flowers borne apically, bell shaped to funnelform, whitish, 5-6 cm (2-2.4 in) long; pericarpels and floral tubes with podaria, scales, wool, and bristles. Fruits ovoid, to 4 cm (1.6 in) long, green, spiny; perianth parts persistent. Distribution: Puebla and Oaxaca, Mexico.
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