Stems slender, 2 to 3 meters high, simple or more or less branched; branches green, erect, 3 to 4 cm. in diameter, usually simple; ribs 12, low, 5 to 6 mm. high, separated by narrow intervals; areoles closely set, 10 mm. apart or less on the lower part of the stem, but much closer together toward the top, on the young growth with long silky white hairs, but on old parts without hairs; spines acicular, swollen at base, 1 to 3 cm. long, bright yellow at first, in age gray.
Collected by Rose, Standley, and Russell at Mazatlan, Mexico, on the hills near the town overlooking the sea, March 31, 1910 (No. 13749, type), and also a short distance inland at Guadalupe, in thickets, April 18, 1910 (No. 14741).
This species differs from the other Mexican ones in having very slender stems. It is named for the veteran collector, Dr. C. A. Purpus, who writes that he collected the species several years earlier than above recorded. We have not, however, seen his specimens.
The plant is growing in the New York Botanical Garden, from Dr. Rose's collection at Mazatlan.
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