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palo loco (crazy tree)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Senecioneae[1]
Genus: Pittocaulon
H.Rob. & Brettell

Pittocaulon is a genus of Mexican shrubs and small trees in the groundsel tribe within the sunflower family.[2][3]

Pittocaulon is native to the dry parts of central and southern Mexico. In addition to the strange appearance of these plants, Pittocaulon is of interest due to the remarkable range of habitats in which the species occur, from dry highland scrub well above 3000 meters, to tropical dry forest in hot country as low as 300 meters and on rocks, often in very steep situations. Pittocaulon species are conspicuous when they flower at the end of the dry season are popularly called "palo loco" or "crazy tree", because they flower at the very end of the dry season when most other plants are suffering the effects of drought.[4]

  1. Pittocaulon bombycophole (Bullock) H.Rob. & Brettell - Guerrero, México State
  2. Pittocaulon filare (McVaugh) H.Rob. & Brettell - Colima
  3. Pittocaulon hintonii H.Rob. & Brettell - Michoacán
  4. Pittocaulon velatum (Greenm.) H.Rob. & Brettell - Guerrero, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Zacatecas
formerly included[1]

see Roldana Senecio


  1. ^ a b c Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  2. ^ Robinson, Harold Ernest & Brettell, R. D. 1973. Phytologia 26(6): 451–453 descriptions in Latin, commentary in English
  3. ^ Tropicos, Pittocaulon H.Rob. & Brettell
  4. ^ Olson, Mark E. "The Pittocaulon Page (succulent Mexican Senecios)". Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  5. ^ Davidse, G., M. Sousa-Peña, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera. 2015. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera (eds.) Flora Mesoamericana. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F..

External links[edit]

Media related to Pittocaulon at Wikimedia Commons