Key to Species

Areoles on ovary and flower-tube bearing long bristles.

Stems puberulent

Stems glabrous.

Corolla about 5 cm. long; tube indefinite; seeds dull; spine-clusters approximate, 3 to 5 mm. apart Corolla 10 to 12 cm. long; tube definite; seeds shining; spine-clusters distant, 7 to 15 mm. apart Areoles on ovary and lower part of flower-tube without long bristles

W. viperina

. . . . 2. W. poselgeri . . . . 3. W. striata 4. W. papillosa

1. Wilcoxia viperina (Weber) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 16: 242. 1913.

Cereus viperinus Weber in Gosselin, Bull.

Stems elongated, branching, the largest ones seen 1 cm. in diameter and becoming spineless; branches densely velvety-puberulent, 8 mm. in diameter or less; ribs about 8, inconspicuous; spines about 8, appressed, dark, about 5 mm. long; flowers red, about 3 cm. long; spines of ovary and corolla-tube black, bristle-like, intermixed with long white wool.

Fig. 163.—Sections of stem of W. viperina. X0.8.

Type locality: Zapotitlan, Mexico. Distribution: Southern Puebla, Mexico.

The type of this species was collected by L. Diguet and is now in

. . . . 2. W. poselgeri . . . . 3. W. striata 4. W. papillosa

Fig. 164.—Wilcoxia poselgeri.

the Herbarium of the Museum of Paris, where it was examined by Dr. Rose in 1912. It is the same as C. A. Purpus's No. 3301 collected at the type locality in 1908 and distributed in his sets of specimens. It is called in Mexico organito de vibora.

The plant is remarkable among Cereeae in having puberulent stems. We include it in Wilcoxia, but are uninformed as to the characters of the roots, which are tuberous in the other species.

Figure 163 shows pieces of the stem, from an herbarium specimen collected by C. A. Purpus at the type locality.

2. Wilcoxia poselgeri (Lemaire) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12 434. 1909.

Cereus tuberosus Poselger, Allg. Gartenz. 21: 135. 1853. Not Pfeiffer, 1837.

Echinocereusposelgeri Lemaire, Cact. 57. 1868.

Echinocereus tuberosus Rümpler in Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 783. 1885.

Cereus poselgeri Coulter, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 3: 398. 1896.

Roots tuberous, black, several, near the surface of the ground; stems 60 cm. high or less, 6 to 10 mm. thick, with 8 to 10 inconspicuous ribs, the lower and older parts naked, spiny above, the spines almost hiding the ribs; radial spines 9 to 12, appressed, 3 to 5 mm. long, delicate, puberulent; central one ascending, black-tipped, about 1 cm. long, stouter than the radials; flowers purple or pink, 5 cm. long, spines of ovary and flower-tube intermixed with white hairs; perianth-segments linear, acuminate, about 2.5 cm. long, widely spreading or strongly recurved; style pale green; stigma-lobes slender, green; seeds pitted or rugose, 8 mm. long.

Type locality: Texas.

Distribution: Southern Texas and Coahuila.

This cactus does not grow well on its own roots in greenhouse cultivation, but gradually loses its vitality; we have had plants, however, to persist in cultivation for ten years. If grafted on cuttings of Selenicereus pteranthus, very vigorous plants can be developed, which will flower each year. It is sometimes called sacasil.

The flowers open in the afternoon, but close at night, opening and closing in this way for from 5 to 9 days. They have a pleasing odor.

Illustrations: Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 13: 77; Knippel, Kakteen pl. 15; Blühende Kakteen 1: pl. 38; Schelle, Handb. Kakteenk. f. 53, as Echinocereus tuberosus; Engelmann, Cact. Mex. Bound. pl. 59, f. 12; Goebel, Pflanz. Schild. 1: pl. 4, f. 1; Blanc, Cacti 38. f. 348, 349, as C. tuberosus. Fig. 165.—Cluster of tuberous

Figure 164 is from a photograph of a flowering plant in the roots of W. poselgeri. x°.6.

collection of the New York Botanical Garden; figure 165 shows the cluster of tuberous roots of a plant grown at Floral Park, New York, in 1890.

3. Wilcoxia striata (Brandegee) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 434. 1909.

Cereus striatus Brandegee, Zoe 2: 19. 1891.

Cereus diguetii Weber, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 1: 319. 1895.

Roots brownish, deep-seated; stem vine-like, very slender, usually with 9 indistinct ribs, grayish; spines about 9, 1.5 to 3 mm. long, acicular, weak, appressed, brownish, the areoles rather distant; flowers 10 to 12 cm. long, purple, the areoles bearing slender, bristle-like spines and long wool; fruit pyriform, 3 to 4 cm. long, scarlet, spiny, the spines deciduous; seeds minutely pitted.

Type locality: San José del Cabo, Lower California.

Distribution: Lower California and Sonora, Mexico.

The natives call it pitayita, pitahayita, sacamatraca, saramatraca, and jaramataca.

This differs from the type species of the genus in its much larger, funnelform flowers.

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