Plants solitary, with an upright trunk, branching only at top, the branches spreading or drooping; ribs numerous, low; young and sterile plants formidably spined; flowering branches naked or bearing only weak bristle-like spines; flowers solitary at the areoles, nocturnal, large, with slightly curved tubes; stamens and style shorter than the perianth-segments; flowers nearly white; ovary and flower-tube covered with large, thin, fleshy scales, these naked in their axils; fruit slightly acid, yellow, becoming naked by the falling away of the scales; seeds black, strongly papillose.
This genus does not closely approach any other. In the thin scales of the ovary and flower-tube there is a hint of Escontria of Mexico, but the scales are not chartaceous and the flowers are otherwise different. The ovary and perianth perhaps most resemble those of
It is named in honor of W. E. Browning, formerly director of the Instituto Ingles at Santiago, Chile, who for many years did efficient educational work in Chile, and who was the friend of all Americans who visited Santiago.
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