Cephalocereus moritzianus Otto

Cereus moritzianus Otto in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 84. 1837.

Pilocereus moritzianus Lemaire, Illustr. Hort. 13: under pl. 469. 1866.

Tree-like, up to 10 meters high, sometimes with 50 ascending branches, green or bluish; ribs 7 to 10, obtuse, separated by acute intervals; areoles 10 to 12 mm. apart, all white-woolly at first; flowering areoles with tufts of wool 1 cm. long or longer; spines slender, at first brownish, rigid, straight, 1 to 3.5 cm. long; radial spines 6 to 8; central spines 3; flowers 5 cm. long, the outer perianth-segments broad, short, the inner white, obtuse; fruit red, depressed, naked, 4 to 5 cm. broad.

Type locality: La Guayra, Venezuela.

Distribution: Venezuela; northwestern mainland and Bocas Islands of Trinidad; Tobago.

This species is common above La Guayra and about Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, especially about the latter place, where it is the most common cactus seen, being abundant both on the hills and on the flats near the sea. Its branches are often overrun by orchids, vines, and bromeliads.

It is abundant on Monos, Chacachacare, and Patos Islands of Trinidad, inhabiting rocky hillsides and cliffs, and varying from slender, light green, and simple-stemmed in sunny situations to stout, dark green, and much branched in woodlands.

Cereus pfeifferi Parmentier (Pfeiffer, Allg. Gartenz. 5: 370. 1837) 15 referred to the synonymy of Cereus moritzianus by Labouret (Monogr. Cact. 344. 1853), who also states on the same page that in Monville's Catalogue is indicated the variety C. moritzianus pfeifferi. As Cereus pfeifferi is supposed to have originally come from Buenos Aires, it is more likely to be a true Cereus.

Fig. 59.—Flower of Cephalocereus moritzianus. Fig. 61.—Cephalocereus moritzianus.

Figure 61 is from a photograph taken by Mrs. J. N. Rose near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, in 1916; figure 59 shows the flower of this plant; figure 60 a fruit of same.

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