Etymology -The name honors Franz Buxbaum. Neo meaning "new" is added because of a moss which already had the name, Buxbaumia.Neobuxbaumia occurs in the eastern and southern parts of Mexico. In habitat, these plants form impressive cactus-forests which stretch over the hills. There are 8 or 9 species in the genus depending on the author and they are all large tree-like species which reach nearly 50 feet (15M) in height. Stems are columnar with numerous ribs and eventually branch with age and size. As with most tree-like cactus, the juvenile plants vary considerably in appearance due to the proportions of spines/rib size to overall stem size. Younger plants are typically more heavily spined while adult plants will lose spines on the lower parts of the stem or at least the spines are dwarfed by the stem size. Ribs may be somewhat tuberculate and spines are not especially heavy and do not obscure the stems. Flowers are bell-shaped and may be white or pink; nocturnal, often bat-pollinated. Fruits are round with spines and split open when ripe with a white pulp.
Despite the dense populations within their habitat, few species of Neobuxbaumia are found in cultivation. Some botanical gardens with large collections of cacti (such as the Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA) may have a specimen or two of this genus. It is much more unusual to find a private collector with one of these plants.