Cephalocereus phaeacanthus Gurke

Cereusphaeacanthus Gurke, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 57. 1908.

Slender, usually branching at base, rarely branching above, more or less erect, often meters high, the branches 4 to 9 cm. in diameter; ribs usually 13, low, narrow, bearing approximate areoles about 5 mm. apart, with acicular spines and small tufts of short white wool; spines numerous, when young yellowish brown, 1 to 1.5 cm. long; flowers 6 cm. long, slightly bent upward near the top of the tube, the limb 6 cm. broad when fully expanded; perianth-tube and ovary bearing several ovate scales; outer perianth-segments greenish brown; inner perianth-segments white, acute; upper series of stamens 2 cm. long; lower series of stamens 4 cm. long; filaments green; style white; fruit 1.5 cm. in diameter, smooth, somewhat tubercled; seeds 2 cm. long.

Type locality: Maracas, Bahia, Brazil.

Distribution: In thickets, State of Bahia, Brazil.

We have placed this species near the end of the genus, for it is very unlike the other species and may not be congeneric with them. It has very slender stems, low ribs, no long hairs at the flowering areoles, and a bent flower with a very small, flattened ovary.

Plate viii, figure 3, shows the top of a plant brought by Dr. Rose from Toca da Onca, Brazil, in 1915. Figure 85 shows the flower, and figure 86 shows the fruit and withering perianth.

48. Cephalocereus ulei Gürke, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 85. 1908.

"Trunk upright, strongly branched, columnar, several meters high, and in this instance 7 cm. in diameter. Ribs 18 to 20, blunt, separated by deep furrows from each other and rather deeply crenate, 8 to 9 mm. high, 7 to 8 mm. wide at the base, semi-elliptic and with rounded angles; areoles 10 to 12 mm. apart, elongated, 4 to 5 mm. in diameter, covered with gray wool, developing on one side of the crown of a branch into a stout, brownish, dirty yellow cephalium, with wool about 8 to 10 mm. long; radial spines 13 to 15, radiating, extending obliquely from the plant body, 10 to 12 mm. long; central spines 2 or 3, somewhat longer than the radial spines, up to 18 mm. long; all of the spines brown, not very sharp, elastic; flowers from the cephalium short, tubular, 45 mm. long, 17 to 20 mm. in diameter; ovary and tube thickly covered with lanceolate or narrowly triangular scales, 2 to 4 mm. long and bearing in their axils fascicles of short, closely lying reddish-brown hairs; petals white, lanceolate-spatulate, with short tips, the innermost 10 mm. long and 5 mm. wide; anthers arising from the upper part of the tube, not extending beyond the perianth; filaments 1 mm. long; Pistil 27 mm. long, the stigma slightly exceeding, with 10 stigma-lobes 3 mm. long; fruit pear-shaped, 6 cm. long, 4 cm. in diameter; seeds black, shining, 1.5 mm. long.

"Of the hitherto known species of the genus Cephalocereus only one comes from Brazil, the rest from Mexico. The Brazilian species, C. melocactus Schumann, has only 12 ribs; 3 to 6 radial spines; red flowers, 3 cm. long; and through these characteristics differs from the here-described species." Translated by Paul G. Russell from Ule, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 85. 1908.

Type locality: Serra do S. Ignacio, Bahia, Brazil.

Distribution: Known only from the type locality.

The plant is known to us only from the description and illustration. It would seem from these to be related to C. dybowskii.

Illustrations: Bot. Jahrb. Engler 40: Beibl. 93: pl. 9; Vegetationsbilder 6: pl. 18.


The species of this genus have often been described under Pilocereus, while others have appeared under Cereus. There are also some species of Cephalocereus which we do not know, and these are all grouped here under the above heading.

Cephalocereus hermentianus (Monville) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 416.


Cereus hermentianus Monville, Illustr. Hort. 6: Misc. 90. 1859.

Pilocereus hermentianus Lemaire in Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 965. 1898.

Upright, slender, 3 meters high, 5 to 7 cm. in diameter, branching; ribs about 19, rounded, shallow; areoles close together, round, with short brown wool and silky, persistent, hanging hairs; spines about 20, small, slender, yellowish; flowers 5 to 6 cm. long.

Type locality: Not cited.

Distribution: Haiti, according to Weber.

Monville did not know the origin of this species, but Weber assigned it to Haiti without question. We do not know any cactus from Hispaniola with 19 ribs, but further explorations may prove its occurrence there.

Pilocereus albisetosus (Haworth) Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 196. 1897.

Cereus albisetosus Haworth, Suppl. Pl. Succ. 77. 1819.

This certainly does not belong to this genus. It may be a Selenicereus. Evidently a low creeping plant, green, 5-angled, with areoles bearing brown wool and several white setaceous spines. It is a native of "Domingo," and is said to be similar to Cereus reptans It was introduced into England by A. B. Lambert in 1816.

Pilocereus verheinei Rümpler in Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 690. 1885.

Columnar, simple so far as known, pale green, the apex covered with white wool, soon turning gray; ribs 12 or 13, 8 to 10 mm. high, obtuse; areoles 6 to 8 mm. apart, 2 to 3 mm. in diameter; spines yellowish at first, in age gray; radial spines 7 or 8, spreading, subulate, 1 to 1.5 cm. long; central spine solitary or wanting, 1 cm. long.

This species, recognized by Schumann as a good species of Pilocereus, we do not know. Its flowers and fruits are unknown and hence its exact place can not be determined. Its origin, too, is unknown and so far as we are aware it is not now in cultivation. The above description has been compiled.

Pilocereus Glaucescens Labouret, Monogr. Cact. 279. 1853.

Pilocereus coerulescens Lemaire, Rev. Hort. 1862: 427. 1862.

Pilocereus andryanus Cels in Lemaire, Rev. Hort. 1862: 427. 1862, as synonym.

"Stem erect, at first simple, later probably becoming branched, dark bluish gray, glaucescent, bearing 10 rounded, blunt, inflated ribs; sinuses sharp, shallow, with age becoming effaced toward the base of the stem; areoles close together, almost confluent toward the base of the stem, rounded, with short almost black tomentum, furnished with hairs and very abundant, fine, undulating, weak, white bristles, especially on the areoles recently developed and toward the summit of the stem, rarer on the lower areoles; spines radiating, of different lengths and thicknesses, biserial, the exterior fine, divergent, inserted to the number of 5 or 6 on each side of the areole, the interior stouter, disposed irregularly in the center, to the number of 5 or 6 also, all of a dull yellow, brown at the base. The plant is 8 cm. in diameter by about 20 cm. in height; the bristles and the hairs of the areoles are about 1 to 2 cm. long; the interior spines, which are the strongest, are 10 to 15 mm. long; flowers unknown."

"The general aspect of this plant, which I believe is unique in Europe, resembles that of a Pilocereus. However, in the absence of definite and certain characters, it is not without doubt that we place it in the genus near Pilocereus columna and chrysomalus, as much for the long bristles of its areoles as for its branching stem. If later, however, its flower makes it a Cereus, its place would very probably be among the Lanuginosi, just after the Coerulescentes, and in this event, which seems doubtful to me because of its many points of resemblance to Pilocereus, it would certainly constitute one of the most remarkable species of Cerei."

The above is taken from Labouret's monograph.

The Index Kewensis refers one of these names to Cereus glaucescens and the other to Cereus coerulescens, but doubtless in error, while the last is called Cereus andryanus by Schumann (Gesamtb. Kakteen 196). Lemaire says his plant came from Serra do Cipo, District Diamartina, Brazil.

PiLocEREUS ALBISPINUS (Salm-Dyck) Rümpler in Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 649. 1885.

Cereus albispinus Salm-Dyck, Observ. Bot. 3: 5. 1822. Cereus crenatus Salm-Dyck in Labouret, Monogr. Cact. 341. 1853. Pilocereus albispinus crenatus Rümpler in Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 649. 1885. Cereus serpentinus albispinus Weingart, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 30. 1908.

Columnar, usually simple but sometimes branched at base; branches with 8 to 12 low, obtuse ribs, these dull green and woolly at apex; radial spines 8 to 13, spreading, white except at tip and there red; central spines 1 to 4; flowers and fruit not known.

Type locality: Curaçao, according to Schumann, but nothing like it was found there by Dr. Britton in 1913.

Distribution: Unknown. Rümpler says it is South America.

Cereus albispinus major Monville (Labouret, Monogr. Cact. 341. 1853) is undescribed. The original publication of Cereus acromelas (Hortus, Berol. Ind. Cact. 1833) we have not seen. Pfeiffer refers it to Cereus crenulatus and Labouret to C. albispinus.

Cereus octogonus Otto (Allg. Gartenz. 1: 365. 1833) and C. decagonus (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 85. 1837) are unpublished names for this species.

We have studied a living specimen of this plant which is growing in the New York Botanical Garden. Its flowers and fruit are not known. See note under Cephalocereus leucostele; see also Weingart's reference (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 30. 1908)

P1L0CEREUS flavispinus Rümpler in Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 659. 1885.

Cereus flavispinus Salm-Dyck, Observ. Bot. 3: 5. 1822.

These names were both referred by Schumann to Pilocereus strictus. The former is said to come from South America and the latter from tropical America. The specific name comes from Cactus flavispinus Colla (Hort. Ripul. 24) and probably applies to some Chilean plant.

Cereus ghiesbreghtii Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 81. 1897.

Columnar, simple or somewhat branched, short-jointed; joints nearly as broad as long; ribs 6 to 8, separated by broad intervals; radial spines 10 to 12, subulate, about 1.4 cm. long; central spines 2 to 4, 5 cm. long; flowers and fruit unknown.

Type locality: Mexico.

Distribution: Known only from type locality.

A plant in the New York Botanical Garden so named suggests a small Cephalocereus and here we refer the species for the present. Schumann's illustration suggests a greenhouse seedling and may differ widely from the wild form.

This is different from Pilocereus ghiesbrechtii Rümpler (Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 661. 1885) which Rümpler says (p. 662) is in the Paris Gardens as Echinocactus ghiesbrechtii. This is doubtless what Salm-Dyck (Allg. Gartenz 18: 395. 1850) described under that name, a species which has not been recognized by later students.

Illustration: Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 16.


A species of Cephalocereus with woolly areoles occurs at Tehuantepec, Mexico, as shown by a photograph obtained there by O. F. Cook and G. N. Collins of the United States Department of Agriculture.

A species of Cephalocereus, with slender, deflexed, white spines, occurs at Coro, Venezuela, as shown by a plant brought by Dr. Rose to the New York Botanical Garden in 1916.

A species of Cephalocereus inhabits the Serra de Borborema, Pernambuco, Brazil, as shown by a photograph received from A. Löfgren; his notes describe it as several meters high, with stout, erect branches, numerous low ribs, the yellow pseudocephalium on one side, elongated, the acicular spines yellow.

A very peculiar plant which was collected by Luetzelburg near Born Jesus, Bahia altitude about 1,700 meters, should probably be placed in this genus and next to C. leucostele. It is called the bottle cactus on account of its shape. A brief description follows

Plant simple, short, and stubby, 10 cm. high; globular at first, in time lengthening from 20 to 40 cm. and becoming more or less bottle-shaped, the upper part being more slender and jointed; ribs 12 to 15, acute; areoles close together, arranged along the ribs; spines from the upper areoles white, elongated, and soft; flowers reddish, 8 to 9 cm. long, opening during the day.

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