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Cereus hexagonus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA CARYOPHYLLALES CACTACEAE

Scientific Name: Cereus hexagonus
Species Authority: (L.) Mill.
Common Name(s):
English Lady of the Night Cactus
Spanish Cirial, Cactus de Columnas, Cactus Columnar Miramar, Cirio, Miramar, Pitahaya
Synonym(s):
Cactus hexagonus L.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-07-26
Assessor(s): Nassar, J.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Frances, A.
Justification:
Cereus hexagonus is listed as Least Concern because it is widespread and there are no known threats. One of its habitats (mountain slopes) is not suitable for urban and agricultural development.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cereus hexagonus occurs in Colombia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
It is widely distributed in Cañón del Río Chicamocha (Boyacá-Santander, Colombia), where it is one of the most conspicuous and characteristic elements of the vegetation (Albesiano and Fernández-Alonso 2006). In Venezuela, its elevation ranges from 0 to 1,700 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Brazil; Colombia; French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species has a low density where it occurs, but it is widely distributed.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In Venezuela, it mainly grows on slopes in the Cordillera de la Costa. In Los Llanos, it grows in flatlands and small hills (J. Nassar pers. comm. 2011).  In French Guyana it grows in sand dunes on the coast, forming large solid masses. It adapts well to moist environments (Cremers and Lauenberger 1988).  Fruits are dispersed by bats and birds. It is pollinated by hawkmoths. In Trinidad, the fruit bat Artibeus lituratus feeds on the skin and pulp of the fruit. It fruits July-August (Greenhall 1957).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This cactus is grown in gardens in French Guyana due to its abundant flowers and adaptation to moist environments (Cremer and Lauenberger 1988). Fruits can be eaten fresh, dried or made into a juice (ElObeidy 2004). There have been experiments to assess its suitability as a fruit crop in the Middle East and North Africa, as it has high water use efficiency (ElObeidy 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Agrobotanical Garden of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Romania started a collection of succulent plants in 2001. The collection includes Cereus hexagonus, which has shown good adaptability to the temperate climate and is being generated from seeds (Stoie 2007).

Citation: Nassar, J. 2013. Cereus hexagonus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 August 2014.
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