Hylocereus lemairei (Hook.) Britt. & Rose

Frost tender, erect, rooting cactus with a branched, triangular, jointed stem, to 3cm in diameter, and yellow prickles, and white flowers tinged pink near the base.  [RHSD, Don].

Horticultural & Botanical History

This identification is in some doubt: ‘Under Hylocereus trigonus insert: Cereus triqueter Haworth (Syn. P1. Succ. 181. 1812) is some species of Hylocereus near H. trigonus.  If really from South America, as stated by Haworth, it may be the same as H. lemairei’.  [Britton & Rose – The Cactaceae vol.IV, p. 282/1920].

‘[Hylocereus lemairei] is a very beautiful species which has long been in cultivation, but the native home of which, until recently, has not been known.  In 1909, Mr. Broadway sent specimens from Trinidad which soon flowered, enabling us to identify it definitely.  Sir Joseph Hooker, under Cereus lemairei in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, volume 80, plate 4814, says, “Nothing is positively known of its native country; but it happens that I have in my possession a drawing made in Antigua, undoubtedly of this species; so that it is probably a native of that island.”  A copy of this drawing is now in the United States National Herbarium, and shows quite a different species from Cereus lemairei, and may represent the Hylocereus collected in the spring of 1913 on Antigua by Dr. Rose (No. 3297), of which we have both herbarium and living specimens, but the drawing is without stem and Dr. Rose’s specimens were without flowers; however, it may be that Hooker’s drawing is of a flower of the commonly cultivated H. undatus.’ [Britton & Rose – The Cactaceae vol.II, p. 189, pl.31/1920].

Cultivated in Europe since 1794.  [Don].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.305/1850].


Published Mar 02, 2010 - 04:50 PM | Last updated Jul 15, 2010 - 05:16 PM

Figured is a small potion of flattened cactus stem with large, white, pink-flushed flower.  The Cactaceae vol.II, pl.31, 1920.

Hylocereus lemairei (Hook.) Britt. & Rose | Britton & Rose – The Cactaceae vol.II, pl.31/1920 | BHL

More details about Hylocereus lemairei (Hook.) Britt. & Rose
Family Cactaceae
Region of origin

South America

  • Cereus triqueter Haw.
  • Cereus trinitatensis Le. & Herment
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Cereus triqueter 

Confidence level medium