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Genus Harrisia Family Cactaceae

Synonyms: Eriocereus (A.Berger) Riccob. APNI*
Roseocereus Backeb. APNI*
Cereus subgen. Eriocereus A.Berger APNI*

Description: Succulent spinose plants with slender, branched, clambering stems, the branches 4–8-angled or -ribbed, 1.5–4 cm diam. Areoles filled with yellowish hairs and several spines of different lengths, the central one much longer than the radial spines; glochids absent.

Flowers c. 20 cm long, hypanthium with scale leaves and spines, perianth segments narrow, inner segments broader and usually white; flowers open at night.

Fruit ovoid to globose, fleshy, usually spiny, often splitting at maturity to show numerous small dark seeds in white pulp.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 18 species, tropical & subtropical America. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Central spine 2–3 cm long, yellow with a dark tip, surrounded by a row of short radial spines 3–6 mm long and 1–3 spines 10–15 mm longHarrisia martinii
Central spine 3–5 cm long, surrounded by 4–8 spines 1–3 cm longHarrisia tortuosa

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