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Selenicereus (A. Berger) Britton & Rose

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Order Caryophyllales
Family Cactaceae
Distribution tropical America, Caribbean

ca. 20


  • Scandent, epilithic or epiphytic shrubs
  • Stems often to 5 m or more, slender, often bearing aerial roots; ribs 2-12.
  • Flower funnelform, rarely salverform, medium-sized to very large, nocturnal, tepals white (red-tinged in S. wercklei), or the outer yellow, pink or brown.
  • Fruit globose, ovoid or oblong, 6-8 cm, fleshy, usually persistent.

After Barthlott & Hunt in Kubitzki, 1993.


Selenicereus (A. Berger) Britton & Rose (1909)


  • Cactus L. (1753) pro parte
  • Mediocactus Britton & Rose (1920), except type


The 4 species of Salmdyckia group (including S. megalanthus and S. setaceus) have been moved to Hylocereus by Bauer (2003).


  • Bauer, R., 2003. A synopsis of the tribe Hylocereeae F. Buxb. Cactaceae Systematics Initiatives, 17: 3-63.
  • Barthlott, W. & Hunt D.R., 1993. Cactaceae. in Kubitzki K. (ed.), The families and genera of vascular plants. vol. 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Magnoliid, Hamamelid and Caryophyllid Families. Berlin, Heidelberg, New-York, Springer. pp. 161-196.
  • Mizrahi, Yosef, Nerd, Avinoam et Nobel, Park S., 1997. Cacti as crops. Horticultural Reviews, 18 : 291-319, 4 pl. coul.
  • Nerd, Avinoam & Mizrahi, Yosef, 1997. Reproductive biology of cactus fruit crops. Horticultural Reviews, 18 : 321-346.
  • Tel-Zur, N., Abbo, S., Bar-Zvi, D. & Mizrahi, Y., 2004. Genetic relationships among Hylocereus and Selenicereus vine cacti (Cactaceae): evidence from hybridization and cytological studies. Ann. Bot. (Lond.), 94(4): 527-34.
  • Weiss, J., Scheinvar, L. & Mizrahi, Y., 1995. Selenicereus megalanthus (the yellow pitaya): a climbing cactus from Colombia. Cactus Succulent J., 67 : 280-283.


GRIN page 8 species in GRIN.