Dendrocereus nudiflorus Engelmann

Cereus nudiflorus Engelmann in Sauvalle, Anal. Acad. Cienc. Habana 6: 98. 1869.

Plant often 7 to 10 meters high, with a definite woody trunk and a very large, much branched top; trunk 1 meter long or more, up to 6 dm. in diameter, with a solid wood core, the bark close, grayish brown, armed with 3 to 5 rows of clusters of spines, sometimes borne on rounded knobs; spines pale gray, stout but acicular, 8 cm. long or less; branches dull green, when young weak, 3 to 5-winged, made up of numerous short joints, with a very slender woody axis, about 12 cm. thick; ribs or wings 4 to 7 cm. high, with low crenate margins; areoles to 50 mm. apart, felted, on branches rather large, sometimes spineless, sometimes bearing 2 to 15 spines, these acicular, sometimes 4 cm. long, with black tips; flowers 10 to 12 cm. long, borne near the tops of the terminal joints, the wall of the flower-tube thick and firm; the flower-bud nearly erect, subcylin-dric, narrowed at base, with a few scattered areoles below the middle, ovoid-conic, blunt-pointed, viscid, shining, green streaked with brown; areoles of the ovary bearing tufts of white wool and usually 1 to 3 short black spines; outermost segments of the perianth triangular, reflexed; outer segments linear-oblong, greenish yellow, blunt, 2 to 3 cm. long, the inner narrowly oblong, white, cm. long; stamens numerous, borne on the elongated throat, slightly exserted; style very thick, to 6 mm. in diameter, entirely filling the tube proper, 2.5 cm. long; stigma-lobes numerous; fruit globular or longer than thick, sometimes pointed, 8 to 12 cm. long, smooth, greenish, naked, with a very thick tough rind 10 to 15 mm. thick; seeds 3 mm. long.

Type locality: Flats around Habana, Cuba.

Distribution: Coast of Habana, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Oriente provinces, Cuba.

Dendrocereus nudiflorus is one of the most striking and interesting of all cacti. Many individuals have the general aspect of apple trees and one realizes that it is a cactus only by rather close observation. It grows in level ground, wherever observed by us, often densely surrounded by trees and bushes of various kinds. Dr. Howe's photograph, here reproduced (see fig. 169), was obtained only after cutting away a large number of bushes in order to place the camera.

The Cuban name for this plant is flor de copa.

Illustrations: Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 1: pl. 49 to 51; Journ. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 10: f. 19; Roig, Cact. Fl. Cub. pl. 2, as Cereus nudiflorus.

Plate xiv, figures 1 and 2, show branch and flower of the plant as it flowered at the New York Botanical Garden in 1911. Figure 169 is from a photograph taken by Marshall A. Howe at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1909 figure 170 shows a fruit collected by N. L. Britton and Percy Wilson at Punta Colorado, Cienfuegos Bay, Cuba, in 1910.

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