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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Cactoideae
Tribus: Hylocereeae
Genus: Hylocereus
Sectiones: H. sect. Hylocereus – H. sect. Salm-dyckia

Species: H. calcaratus – H. costaricensis – H. megalanthus – H. ocamponis – H. minutiflorus – H. monacanthus – H. setaceus – H. stenopterus – H. triangularis – H. trigonus – H. undatus

Hylocereus (A.Berger) Britton & Rose, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 12(10): 428 (1909).
Type species: Hylocereus triangularis (L.) Britton & Rose


Cereus subg. Hylocereus A.Berger, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 16: 72 (1905).

Cereus [infragen.unranked] Triangulares K.Schum., Gesamtb. Kakt. 56 (1897).
Cereus sect. Hylocereus (A.Berger) A.Berger, Kakteen 61: 108, 109 (1929).

Cereus [infragen.unranked] Extensi Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 65, 339 (1834).
Type species: Cereus extensus Salm-Dyck ex DC.
Cereus [infragen.unranked] Serpentes Pfeiff. ex Lem., Cact. Gen. Sp. Nov. 59, 77 (1839), p.p.
Type species: non design.
Mediocactus Britton & Rose, Cactaceae 2: 210 (1920).
Mediocereus Frič & Kreuz. in Kreuz., Verzeichnis Amer. Sukk. Revision Syst. Kakteen 19 (1935), nom. superfl..
Type species: Mediocactus coccineus (DC.) Britton & Rose
Wilmattea Britton & Rose, Cactaceae 2: 195 (1920).
Type species: Wilmattea minutiflora (Britton & Rose) Britton & Rose


× Disolocereus

Britton, N.L. & Rose, J.N. 1909. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 12(10): 428.
Doweld, A.B. 2002. Типификация видов рода Hylocereus (Hylocereeae–Cactaceae) [A typification of the species of Hylocereus (Hylocereeae–Cactaceae)]. Turczaninowia 5(1): 11–16. PDF Reference page.

Vernacular names
suomi: Metsäkaktukset
svenska: Pitahayasläktet, Skogskaktusar

Hylocereus is a former genus of epiphytic cacti, often referred to as night-blooming cactus (though the term is also used for many other cacti). Several species previously placed in the genus have large edible fruits, which are known as pitayas, pitahayas or dragonfruits. In 2017, a molecular phylogenetic study confirmed an earlier finding that the genus Hylocereus was nested within Selenicereus, so all the species of Hylocereus were transferred to Selenicereus.


The species previously placed in the genus Hylocereus grow hanging, climbing or epiphytic. They are freely branched, shrubby plants that form aerial roots and become very large with a height of 10 m or more. The green, often glaucous shoots are usually terete or triangular.[1]

In the 1994 classification of the International Cactaceae Systematics Group of the International Organization for Succulent Plant Study, the genus Hylocereus was one of the six genera of the tribe Hylocereeae.[2] A 2011 study of the molecular phylogeny of the Cactaceae concluded that neither the tribe nor the genus was monophyletic (i.e. neither comprised all the descendants of a common ancestor). Two species of Hylocereus formed a clade with two species of Selenicereus, suggesting that the genera were not distinct.[3] This result was confirmed in a larger study in 2017, and all the species of Hylocereus were transferred to Selenicereus.[4]

Species that were placed in the genus in 2012 that are now placed in Selenicereus include the following.[5][4]

Hylocereus calcaratus (F.A.C. Weber) Britton & Rose → Selenicereus calcaratus
Hylocereus costaricensis (F.A.C. Weber) Britton & Rose → Selenicereus costaricensis
Hylocereus escuintlensis Kimnach → Selenicereus escuintlensis
Hylocereus megalanthus (K. Schum. ex Vaupel) Ralf Bauer → Selenicereus megalanthus
Hylocereus monacanthus (Lem.) Britton & Rose → Selenicereus monacanthus
Hylocereus minutiflorus Britton & Rose → Selenicereus minutiflorus
Hylocereus ocamponis (Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose → Selenicereus ocamponis
Hylocereus setaceus (Salm-Dyck ex DC.) Ralf Bauer → Selenicereus setaceus
Hylocereus stenopterus (F.A.C. Weber) Britton & Rose → Selenicereus stenopterus
Hylocereus triangularis (L.) Britton & Rose → Selenicereus triangularis
Hylocereus trigonus (Haw.) Saff. → Selenicereus trigonus
Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) Britton & Rose → Selenicereus undatus

See also

Epiphyllum – another cactus genus yielding edible fruits


"On-line Guide to the positive identification of Members of the Cactus Family". On-line Guide to the positive identification of Members of the Cactus Family. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
Anderson, Edward F. (2001), The Cactus Family, Pentland, Oregon: Timber Press, ISBN 978-0-88192-498-5, p. 101
Bárcenas, Rolando T.; Yesson, Chris & Hawkins, Julie A. (2011), "Molecular systematics of the Cactaceae", Cladistics, 27 (5): 470–489, doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2011.00350.x, S2CID 83525136
Korotkova, Nadja; Borsch, Thomas & Arias, Salvador (2017). "A phylogenetic framework for the Hylocereeae (Cactaceae) and implications for the circumscription of the genera". Phytotaxa. 327 (1): 1–46. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.327.1.1.

"Search results". The Plant List. 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2019-07-24.

CactiGuide: Hylocereus Hylocereus undatus

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