Stanford Arizona V

… and the last report on yesterday’s visit to the Arizona Garden (cacti and succulents) at Stanford. About two stands of extraordinarily showy columnar cactuses that are clearly closely related to one another — both similar to plants in the genus Cereus.

Previously on this blog, on 3/2/17, “Five contorted cactuses”: #10 Cereus repandus there:


In full bloom, they look like alien flowers the crew of the Enterprise might find when they beam down to some distant planet. From the cactus garden yesterday (all photos by Juan Gomez), a mid-long shot of a white ceroid cactus (with pink sepals):


and in close-up:


The same two shots for a peachy-pink ceroid cactus, a plant so big and bright it arrests your attention from many yards away:



From Wikipedia:

Cereus is a genus of cacti (family Cactaceae) including around 33 species of large columnar cacti from South America. The name is derived from Greek (κηρός) and Latin words meaning “wax” or “torch”. The genus Cereus was one of the first cactus genera to be described; the circumscription varies depending on the authority.

… Flowers are large, funnelform, 9–30 cm long, usually white, sometimes pink, purple, rarely cream, yellow, greenish, and open at night [the Stanford plants were fully open at 10 a.m.]. Fruits are globose to ovoid to oblong, 3–13 cm long, fleshy, naked, usually red but sometimes yellow, pulp white, pink or red.

And on the broader designation ceroid:

The term ceroid cactus (or sometimes just cereus) is used to describe any of the species of cacti with very elongated bodies, including columnar growth cacti and epiphytic cacti. The name is from the Latin cēreus, wax taper (slender candle), referring to the stiff, upright form of the columnar species. Some species of ceroid cacti were known as torch cactus or torch-thistle, supposedly due to their use as torches by Native Americans in the past.

The genus Cereus was first genus for such cacti and one of the oldest cactus genera. Its circumscription varies depending on the authority.

According to Cactiguide the word “cereus” was commonly and freely used to describe any tree-like cacti, although this general use of the word is regarded as misleading and the word ceroid or ceriform is preferred. (Wikipedia link)

Many genera, and many species within those genera.

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