The Bolivian town of Samaipata is located about 150 km (93 miles) south of the city of Santa Cruz. The region around it is characterized by thorn shrub vegetation and dry forest, the home of several interesting cacti. One of the most prominent is a tall, columnar, slightly branched cactus that often rises above the rest of the plants. Surprisingly, it was not described until 1952. Anibal Corro saw a cactus near Samaipata that was clearly different from the other large columnar cactus of the region, Neoraimondia herzogiana. He gave material of it to Martin Cárdenas, who described many new cacti from various regions of his native Bolivia. Cárdenas (1952) described it as Samaipaticereus corroanus, noting that it differs from other cereoids in having short, tubular flowers that bear "scales and flagellum-like bristles" on the ovary and flo-
ral tube, and fruit pulp that is somewhat unusual in color. It flowers in October and November. Cárdenas described a second species of Samaipaticereus in 1957, S. inquisivensis, but it is now placed in Yungasocereus.
Samaipaticereus Cárdenas 1952 Subfamily Cactoideae, tribe Trichocereeae.
Samaipaticereus corroanus cárdenas 1952
Plants treelike, columnar, much branched, 2-4 m (6.6-13 ft) high with distinct trunks. Stems long, erect, unsegmented, green, to 8 cm (3.1 in) in diameter. Ribs 4-6. Spines usually 5, not clearly differentiated as centrals and radiais, short, grayish white, one longer than the others and pointed downward. Flowers numerous, arising from the terminal portions of the stems, open at night but remaining open during the day, narrowly funnelform, 4.5-5 cm (1.8-2 in) long; outer perianth parts greenish white with brown tips, inner white; pericarpels and floral tubes with long scales, short hairs, and a few bristles. Fruits globose, truncate, tuberculate, pinkish red, dehiscing lengthwise to expose a reddish orange pulp; perianth parts persistent. Distribution: near Samaipata, Florida province, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, at an elevation of about 1500 m (4900 ft).
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