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Based on extensive studies of fresh material of known origin, all descriptions and type-specimens of all species of the genus Trichodiadema Schwantes (Mesembryanthemoideae, Aizoaceae) for the new Lexicon of Aizoaceae (Hartmann edition, in prep.) the delimitation of the genus is revised. The term “diadem” is defined. Useful characteristics of leaf anatomy and morphology, as well as significant flower and fruit characters serve as criteria, presenting a basis for a complete revision of the genus.
Within the Cactaceae, various genera have been reported as being bat-pollinated, including Pilosocereus, however actual observations have not been reported from Brazil. In this work we investigate the floral biology and pollination of Pilosocereus catingicola (Gürke) Byles & Rowley subsp. salvadorensis (Werderm.) Zappi, a species endemic to North-eastern Brazil, where its common name is ‘facheiro’. Observations of the pollination biology of this species were made in the coastal sand-dunes of Paraíba. The flowers of P. catingicola have various characteristics associated with bat-pollination; widely opening tubular corolla greenish white in colour, foul odour, high and continuous production of nectar and nocturnal anthesis. The flowers open after 6 p.m., the stamens disposed around the interior of the corolla-tube, the style lying along the lower edge of the tube, the stigma exserted and receptive during the night, from the beginning of anthesis until the flower closes around 7 a.m. the following morning. The production of nectar is copious and continuous from the beginning of anthesis, averaging 440 µl, and is stored in the nectar-chamber. The average concentration of sugar in the nectar was 23%. Visits of a phylostomid bat, Glossophaga soricina, at regular intervals of approx. 10–40 min. were observed, which suggested trap-lining behaviour, favouring cross-pollination. Occasional visits of hawkmoths were also observed, which may also function as effective pollinators. P. catingicola is a self-incompatible species, whose seed production depends on crosspollination through the presence of a pollen vector.
Miscellaneous observations from habitat and from cultivation in New Mexico are put on record for species of Conophytum, Deilanthe, Delosperma, Diplosoma, Gibbaeum, Mitrophyllum, Nelia, Orthopterum, Phyllobolus, Pleiospilos, Polymita and Rhinephyllum (Aizoaceae).
The Irish botanist Dr Thomas Coulter (1793–1843) sent a collection of living cacti, which he reckoned contained around 57 different ones, from Zimapán, Hidalgo province, Mexico, in February 1828 to Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. These plants reached Geneva by July 1828. Using Coulter's consignment, A. P. de Candolle described 63 species and varieties in the genera Cereus, Echinocactus, Mammillaria and Opuntia. Hitherto unpublished letters from Coulter to Candolle help to confirm the type locality of all Coulter's cacti as Zimapán, Hidalgo, and allow us to reconstruct the history of this important, early collection, which substantially increased European knowledge of cacti.
A new species of Mammillaria is described: Mammillaria giselae, known from a single location in the Sierra de San Carlos, Tamaulipas, Mexico. A series of morphological characteristics helps to place the taxon in the Series Prolifera because of the form and size of the plant. It has no close relatives but shows a certain affinity to Mammillaria prolifera, but shape and form of the stems, lack of hairs or bristles in the axils, size and form and colour of the spines, colour and shape of the flowers as well as the structure clearly separate it from that species and its varieties. It is also compared to Mammillaria schiedeana var. dumetorum.
The taxonomy of Neolloydia gautii and Echinocactus beguinii has been controversial for a long time. A closer examination of the holotype of Neolloydia gautii has shown that this taxon is not related to Echinocactus beguinii, while a careful reading of the first description of Echinocactus smithii has confirmed Zimmermann's hypothesis that it should be considered as conspecific with Thelocactus conothelos. In the light of these facts, two new combinations are made: Echinomastus gautii and Turbinicarpus beguinii.
Some species of Cactaceae of Northeastern Brazil, most from Caatingas, are focused on here where their main palynological characters are presented. Light and scanning electron microscopy analysis were made on acetolysed pollen grains. The species were gathered in five groups: (1) 3-colpate, perforate, spinulous to spinous pollen grains (Harrisia adscendens, Cereus albicaulis, C. jamacaru, Pilosocereus catingicola, P. chrysostele, P. glaucochrous, P. pachycladus, P. tuberculatus, Stephanocereus luetzelburgii, Arrojadoa rhodantha and Facheiroa squamosa); (2) pantocolpate, perforate, spinulous pollen grains (Pereskia stenantha, Melocactus bahiensis, M. ernestii and M. zehntneri); (3) pantocolpate, perforate, psilate to granulate pollen grains (Opuntia cochenillifera and O. palmadora); (4) pantoporate, perforate, psilate pollen grains (O. inamoena); (5) pantoporate, foveolate to reticulate, granulate pollen grains (O. ficus-indica). Abnormal, atremate, and 2-syncolpate pollen grains were present in most species (mainly in Melocactus spp.). Species of Cereeae formed a stenopalynous group, to which H. adscendens (Hylocereeae) and F. squamosa (Trichocereeae) were joined. All species studied presented pollen grains adapted to the xeric conditions of the caatingas.