There are 4 species in this genus which is native to Mexico and Central America. The stems are slender; when young they are erect, but afterwards trailing. The ribs are numerous, the areoles small, each with 10 or more slender spines. The flowers are large or medium, and borne at night along the sides of the stems. The growing stem finishes in a flower.

Nyctocereus serpentinus. Probably the most popular of the genus. The flower is large, nearly a foot long and over 7 inches wide, with delicate pink petals fading into soft cream-white; it has a strong fragrance with a pronounced spicy odour. This plant is often seen in collections.

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