Selenicereus pteranthus

Selenicereus pteranthus (Link ex A. Dietr.) Britton & Rose

Synonym: Cereus boeckmannii

Common Names: Queen of the Night, Princess of the Night, Snake Cactus

Family: Cactaceae

Habit: Selenicereus pteranthus grows as a creeping/trailing succulent to 10 m in length. The stems are 1 – 2 cm in diameter and 4 – 6  angled. The leaves have been reduced to spines. The spines are in groups of 3 – 6 on the areoles, to 3 mm in length.

The large (to 30 cm in length), complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged solitarily, emerging from areoles along the branch edges. The pubescent calyx has numerous brown sepals. The corolla has numerous petals. The outer petals are a light brown and the inner petals white. There are numerous stamens. The calyx, corolla and androecium are fused to form a brown, pubescent hypanthium. The inferior ovary has a single locule and numerous seeds. The fruit is a bright red berry at maturity.

Habitat: Selenicereus pteranthus grows climbing/trailing along trees and walls.

Distribution: Selenicereus pteranthus is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but does occur in the central and northern islands groupings as well as in Cuba, Hispaniola, and Mexico. It now also occurs in parts of Central America and Florida.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Selenicereus pteranthus is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

As with all cacti it is CITES listed.