Two groups of Peruvian cacti long baffled researchers, resulting in both taxonomic and nomenclatural confusion. The first group, originally described by John Akers in 1948 as Peruvocereus albisetatus, was transferred by Curt Backeberg to Haageocereus. The second group is represented by Bing hamia climaxantha, described by Erich Werdermann in 1937 and transferred to Neobinghamia by Backeberg, who described that genus in 1950 and subsequently included N. multiareolata and N. villigera in it. The plants were indeed mysterious and did not fit comfortably into any major group. Field investigations have readily provided the answer, however. The cacti are naturally occurring hybrids, Haageocereus x Espostoa, placed in xHaagespostoa by Gordon D. Rowley in 1982, with two species. Rowley (1994) has discussed these and other naturally occurring intergeneric hybrids, which are surprisingly common in the Cactaceae.
I have observed xHaagespostoa climaxantha in the Quebrada Tinajas near Lima, Peru, where it grows intermixed with the two parent genera. It is a remarkable population; the hybrids can be readily recognized because of numerous intermediate characteristics and irregular lateral cephalia.
xHaagespostoa G. D. Rowley 1982 Neobinghamia Backeberg 1950
Subfamily Cactoideae, tribeTrichocereeae. Two entitles are known to exist as the result of naturally occurring hybridization between Haageocereus and Espostoa. Distribution: central Peru.
xHaagespostoa albisetata (Akers) G. D. Rowley 1982 Peruvocereus albisetatus Akers 1948, Haageocereus albisetatus
(Akers) Backeberg 1958 Neobinghamia multiareolata Rauh & Backeberg 1957 Neobinghamia villigera Rauh & Backeberg 1957
xHaagespostoa albisetata is a spontaneous hybrid, Espostoa melanostelex Haageocereus pseudomelanostele. Plants shrubby, branching basally, to 1 m (3.3 ft) high. Stems columnar, dark or brownish green, 8-12 cm (3.1-4.7 in) in diameter. Ribs 20-22, straight. Areoles close set. Spines 50-80, fine, reddish brown to yellowish, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long. Central spines 1-2, appearing later, to 4 cm (1.6 in) long. Lateral cephalia irregularly formed, with masses of white wool. Flowers funnelform, greenish white to reddish, 5-6 cm (2-2.4 in) long, 3-4 cm (1.2—1.6 in) in diameter. Fruits yellowish red, 4-5 cm (1.6-2 in) long. Distribution: Eulalia Valley, central Peru.
xHaagespostoa climaxantha (Werdermann) G. D. Rowley 1982
Binghamia climaxantha Werdermann 1937, Haageocereus climaxan-thus (Werdermann) Croizat 1942, Neobinghamia climaxantha (Werdermann) Backeberg 1951
xHaagespostoa climaxantha is a spontaneous hybrid, Espostoa melanostele x Haageocereus albispinus. Plants shrubby, branching basally, to 1 m (3.3 ft) high. Stems erect, thickly
xHaagespostoa climaxantha enveloped in white wool, 6-8 cm (2.4-3.1 in) in diameter. Ribs 19-27. Areoles brownish. Spines 50-70, fine, bristly, yellowish brown, 5-8 mm (0.2-0.3 in) long with a few centrals to 20 mm (0.8 in) long. Lateral cephalia irregularly formed, with spines and dense brownish wool. Flowers open at night, deep rose pink to whitish, 5.5-6.5 cm (2.2-2.6 in) long. Distribution: Tinijas Valley, central Peru.
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