Pilosocereus Byles & G.D.Rowley
  • in Cact. Succ. J. Gr. Brit. 19: 66. 1957.
  • Tree cactus [Latin pilosus, shaggy, and Cereus, a genus of cacti]

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2023): Pilosocereus Byles & G.D.Rowley. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-4000029708. Accessed on: 30 Mar 2023'

General Information

Trees or shrubs, erect to ascending or reclining, usually branched in basal portion, older plants with closely parallel, erect branches forming narrow crown; trunk absent or present, 8-12+ cm diam. Roots diffuse. Stems unsegmented, green to bluish or blue-green, columnar, [0.5-]3-10 m × [2.8-]5-8 cm, glabrous; ribs 3-30, low, rounded, furrows straight [or wavy], rib crests sometimes notched between areoles [ribs strongly tuberculate in 1 Brazilian species]; areoles usually closely spaced along ribs [often confluent in flowering region], circular to elliptic, woolly; hairs usually white or tawny [to blackish] soft, to 8[-50] mm, longest on flower-producing areoles along each rib or on one side of stem in distal region; areolar glands not apparent; cortex and pith extremely mucilaginous. Spines 6-31 per areole, yellow [to brown or black], often aging gray, acicular, straight, terete, [2-]10-15(-25)[-40] × 0.25 mm, smooth; radial and central spines not distinguishable. Flowers nocturnal or crepuscular, lateral to subterminal on stems, from closely adjacent or confluent areoles, funnelform to narrowly campanulate, [2.5-]5-6[-9] × 2-5[-7] cm; flower tube straight or slightly curved; outer tepals greenish [blue, red, or purplish], margins entire or minutely denticulate; inner tepals white [pinkish to reddish], 9-26 × 7.5 mm, margins entire; ovary smooth, scales absent (or 1-2), spines absent; stigma lobes usually 8-12. Fruits dehiscent along 1 side or apparently indehiscent, red or purple [to blue-green], [spheric or] depressed-spheric [to ovoid or oblong], 20-45 × 30-50 mm, fleshy, scales and spines absent (rarely 1-2 scales); pulp color variable; floral remnant usually persistent. Seeds black or dark brown, snail-shaped, 1.2-2.6 mm, smooth, shiny; testa cells flat. x = 11.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    PILOSOCEREUS Byles & G.D. Rowley

  • Provided by: [E].Flora de Nicaragua
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Shrubs or small trees, with erect, columnar branches; stems cylindrical, with 10-12 longitudinal ribs; areoles along margins of ribs, usually with long white woolly hairs, surrounded by clusters of spines and lacking glochids. Leaves wanting. Flowers solitary, sessile and bell- to funnel-shaped, with long hypanthium; outer perianth segments scale-like; inner segments petaloid; stamens numerous, inserted on hypanthium; ovary medial, the style stout. Fruit depressed-globose, with numerous exarillate, black seeds.

  • Provided by: [D].Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 


    A genus of approximately 50 species, distributed from Mexico to northern Peru and central Brazil, including the West Indies.

  • Provided by: [D].Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 



    Austin, D. F. 1984. Resumé of the Florida taxa of Cereus (Cactaceae). Florida Sci. 47: 65-68. Hennessey, M. K. and D. H. Habeck. 1994. Observations on reproduction of an endangered cactus, Cereus robinii (Lemaire) L. Benson. Florida Sci. 57: 93-101. Lima, A. N. and R. M. Adams. 1996. The distribution and abundance of Pilosocereus robinii (Lemaire) Byles and Rowley in the Florida Keys. Bradleya 14: 57-62. Zappi, D. C. 1994. Pilosocereus (Cactaceae): The Genus in Brazil. Sherborne.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Included Species

    Other Local Names

    Tree cactus [Latin pilosus, shaggy, and Cereus, a genus of cacti]

      Taxonomic Status Reference

    • 1 Franck, A. R. 2021: Rev. Cereus, Estevesia, Harrisia, Pilosocereus, Stenocereus, Xiquexique.

     Information From

    Caryophyllales. World Flora Online Data. 2022.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    MBG Floras Images
    Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
    • B Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • C Flora of North America Association
    Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • D Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora de Nicaragua
    W. D. Stevens, C. Ulloa Ulloa, A. Pool & O. M. Montiel. 2001–. Flora de Nicaragua, Tropicos Project. Loaded from Tropicos Project: October 2017
    • E Missouri Botanical Garden
    World Flora Online Consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).