Key to Species

Areoles of the ovary and flower-tube bearing long hairs.

Branches ribbed, angled or subterete, not spurred.

Areoles of the branches borne on the ribs or angles. Spines of the branch-areoles acicular.

Hairs of flower-areoles tawny or whitish 1. S. grandiflorus

Hairs of flower-areoles bright white.

Branches 4 or 5-angled; stem-areoles without bristly hairs.

Spines brown 2. S. urbanianus

Young spines yellow 3. S. coniflorus

Branches 7 to 10-ribbed; stem-areoles with many bristly hairs 4. S. hondurensis

Spines of the branch-areoles short, conic.

Branches 9 or 10-ribbed; branch-areoles with many appressed hairs 5. S. donkelaarii

Branches 4 to 6-ribbed; young branch-areoles with few long hairs.

Stems stout, 3 to 5 cm. thick 6. S. pteranthus

Stems slender, 1.5 to 3 cm. thick. Hairs of flower-areoles white.

Ribs not tubercled 7. S. kunthianus

Ribs tubercled 8. S. brevispinus

Hairs of flower-areoles brown 9. S. boeckmannii

Areoles of the branches borne on prominent knobs 10. S. macdonaldiae

Branches with a stout, deflexed spur under each areole 11. S. hamatus

Areoles of flower-tube and ovary without long hairs.

Areoles of the branches spiniferous.

Spines of the branch-areoles acicular 12. S. vagans

Spines of the branch-areoles short, conic.

Ribs 7 or 8, obtuse; spines from the areoles on the ovary 1 to 3 13. S. murrillii

Ribs 4 to 6, acute; spines from the areoles on the ovary 10 or more 14. S. spinulosus

Areoles of the branches unarmed.

Ribs prominent, 3 to 5; flowers white 15. S. inermis

Ribs low, 6 to 12; flowers red 16. S. wercklei

1. Selenicereus grandiflorus (Linnaeus) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 430. 1909.

Cactus grandiflorus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 467. 1753.

Cereus grandiflorus Miller, Gard. Dict. ed. 8. No. 11. 1768.

Cereus grandiflorus affinis Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 51, 216. 1850.

Stems clambering, often 2.5 cm. in diameter, green or bluish green; ribs usually 7 or 8, sometimes fewer, low, separated by broad, rounded intervals; spines acicular, various, 1 cm. long or less, yellowish brown or brownish, in age gray, intermixed with the numerous whitish hairs; flower-buds covered with tawny hairs; flowers about 18 cm. long; outer perianth-segments narrow, salmon-colored; inner perianth-segments white, acute, entire; style often longer than the inner perianth-segments; fruit ovoid, 8 cm. long.

Type locality: Jamaica.

Distribution: Jamaica and Cuba. Widely planted and escaped from cultivation in tropical America.

We have observed seeds germinating within the fruit of this species.

S. grandiflorus and perhaps some of its allies are used medicinally as a heart tonic. In the trade the plant is sometimes called Cactus mexicanus.

Cereus scandens minor Boerhaave (Arendt, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 1: 82. 1891) probably refers to this species, as does also C. grandiflorus var. minor Salm-Dyck and var. spectabilis Karwinsky (Förster, Handb. Cact. 415. 1846). C. grandiflorus uranos Riccobono (Boll. R. Ort. Bot. Palermo 8: 249. 1909), doubtless the same as Cereus uranos Hortus, is said to be but a form of this species. The C. uranus nycticalus mentioned (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 3: 117. 1893) is a hybrid and is like C. grandiflorus callicanthus Rümpler (Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 750. 1885; Cereus callicanthus Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 3: 109. 1893). Cereus grandiflorus viridiflorus (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 6: 80. 1896) is a garden hybrid. The varieties haitiensis and ophites (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 13: 183. 1903) may belong to related species rather than to Selenicereus grandiflorus. This is probably true of the varieties grusonianus and mexicanus listed in Haage and Schmidt Catalogues. Cereus maximiliani, C. grandiflorus maximiliani, and C. nycticalus maximiliani are doubtless hybrids with one of the common cultivated species, perhaps S. grandiflorus, as believed by Bergen. Cereus schmidtii (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 4: 189. 1894) may be Cereus grandiflorus schmidtii (Berger, Hortus Mortolensis 70. 1912). Cereus grandiflorus barbadensis is also given by Berger.

The flowers of S. grandiflorus are almost identical with those of the 8 following species, which differ essentially only in vegetative characters and armament.

Illustrations: Andrews, Bot. Rep. 8: pl. 508; De Candolle, Pl. Succ. 1: pl. 52; Descourtilz, Fl. Med. Antill. 1: pl. 65; Loddiges, Bot. Cab. 17: pl. 1625; Loudon, Encycl. Pl. f. 6873, as Cactus grandiflorus; Cact. Journ. 1: 125; Curtis's Bot. Mag. 62: pl. 3381; Dict. Gard. Nicholson 1: f. 407; Gartenflora 53: 68, 401; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 34; Miller, Icones pl. 90; Rümpler, Sukkulenten f. 69; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 10: 60; Cycl. Amer. Hort. Bailey 1: f. 414, all as Cereus grandiflorus; Trew, Pl. Ehret. pl. 31, 32, as Cereus gracilis scandens etc.; Cact. Journ. 1: 79, as Cereus grandiflorus major.

Plate xxxii, figure 3, shows a section of the fruit of a plant in the New York Botanical Garden sent from Cuba by C. F. Baker in 1907, with germinated seeds within; plate xxxiii, figure 1, shows a flowering branch, figure 2 shows the tip of a branch, and figure 3 its fruit.

2. Selenicereus urbanianus (Gürke and Weingart) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 16:

242. 1913.

Cereus urbanianus Gürke and Weingart, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin 4: 158. 1904.

Selenicereus maxonii Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 430. 1909.

Cereus roseanus Vaupel, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 23: 27. 1913.

Cereusparadisiacus Vaupel, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 23: 37. 1913.

Stems light green, but often becoming deep purple throughout, often 3 cm. in diameter; ribs 4 or 5, rarely 3 or 6, rather prominent but less so on the older branches; areoles small, white; spines 1 cm. long or less, brownish; reflexed bristles or hairs from the lower part of the areoles several, white, longer than the spines; flowers 20 to 30 cm. long; uppermost scales and outer perianth-segments narrow, brown to orange, paler within; inner perianth-segments spatulate to oblanceolate, the upper part more or less serrated, the very broad apex sometimes apiculate or entire and acuminate, pure white; stamens and style yellowish green, longer than the inner perianth-segments; flower-tube 1 cm. long, reddish brown, its areoles and those of the ovary bearing long, white hairs.

Type locality: Haiti.

Distribution: Cuba and Hispan-


Plants collected by Dr. John K. Small, escaped from cultivation near Halendale, Florida, are, apparently, referable to this species.

Illustrations: Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 16: 137, as Cereus urbanianus; Blühende Kakteen 3: pl. 153, 154, as Cereus paradisiacus.

Plate xxxiv shows a flowering branch of a plant collected by N. L. Britton and J. F. Cowell at El Cobre, Cuba, in 1912.

Figs. 273 and 274.—Branch and fruit of Selenicereus coniflorus.

2. Tip of branch of the same.

3. Fruit of the same.

2. Tip of branch of the same.

3. Fruit of the same.

(Natural size.)

3. Selenicereus coniflorus (Weingart) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 430. 1909.

Cereus coniflorus Weingart, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 14: 118. 1904.

Cereus nycticalus armatus Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 147. 1897.

Selenicereuspringlei Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 431. 1909.

Cereusjalapaensis Vaupel, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 23: 26. 1913.

Stems high-climbing, giving off numerous aerial roots, pale green, becoming purplish along the ribs, 5 or 6-ribbed; intervals between the ribs either depressed or shallow; margins of the ribs slightly wavy to strongly knobby; spines acicular, pale yellow, the radials 4 to 6, with 1 central, porrect, 1 to 1.5 cm. long; bristles from the lower part of areoles, 2, reflexed; buds globular, covered with white hairs; flowers about 22 to 25 cm. long; outer perianth-segments linear, light orange or bronzed to lemon-yellow; inner perianth-segments pure white, apiculate; filaments greenish; style much shorter than the inner perianth-segments; stigma-lobes greenish yellow; scales on the ovary and flower-tube linear, reddish, their axils bearing white hairs and spines; fruit globose, about 6 cm. in diameter.

Type locality: Not cited; based on cultivated plants.

Distribution: Eastern Mexico, especially Vera Cruz.

This is a vigorous climbing vine, flowering freely in cultivation. It is often known in collections as Cereus nycticalus armatus. Living material was collected by Dr. Rose in Mexico in 1905, where he learned it was being gathered in large quantities and shipped to the United States, as Cereus grandiflorus, to be manufactured into medicine.

Illustration: Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 3, as Cereus nycticalus.

Plate xxxv is from a plant collected by Dr. Rose in Mexico in 1905, which flowered at the New York Botanical Garden, May 8, 1913. Figure 273 shows a joint and figure 274 a fruit of a plant in the collection of the United States Department of Agriculture.

4. Selenicereus hondurensis (Schumann) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 430. 1909.

Cereus hondurensis Schumann in Weingart, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 14: 147. 1904.

Climbing and clambering, 1.5 cm. in diameter, green, becoming in winter deep purple; ribs 7 to 10, low; areoles 6 to 10 mm. apart; spines rather short, 5 to 7 mm. long, but acicular, usually surrounded by numerous much longer white hairs or bristles, especially conspicuous on young branches; flowers 20 cm. long or more; outermost perianth-segments brownish and linear, the outer ones linear and acuminate, yellow; inner perianth-segments pure white, 10 cm. long, 10 to 15 mm. broad; scales on ovary and flower-tube linear, bearing numerous long bristly hairs in their axils; fruit not known.

Type locality: Honduras.

Distribution: Honduras and Guatemala.

Fig. 275.—Tip of branch of Selenicereus hondurensis. Natural size.

This species has long passed as Cereus kunthianus and is the plant described by Schumann under that name.

Figure 275 is from a photograph of a branch of a plant collected by O. F. Cook at Panzos, Guatemala, in 1907.

5. Selenicereus donkelaarii (Salm-Dyck).

Cereus donkelaarii* Salm-Dyck, Allg. Gartenz. 13: 355. 1845.

Stems elongated, creeping or ascending, 8 meters long or more, slender, about 1 cm. thick; ribs 9 or 10, obtuse, often indistinct; spines in clusters of 10 to 15, the radials 3 to 4 mm. long, setaceous, appressed; central spine 1 or several, 1 to 2 mm. long; flowers 18 cm. long, the slender tube 6 to 7 cm. long; outer perianth-segments reddish, linear; inner perianth-segments white, entire, 6 to 8 cm. long, about 1 cm. wide, acuminate; stamens and style nearly white above, greenish below; fruit unknown.

Type locality: Not cited. Distribution: Yucatan, Mexico.

Fig. 276.—Selenicereus donkelaarii.

This species has long been known only from cultivated plants. Schumann reports it as from Brazil but this we are now disposed to question since it has recently been discovered by Dr. George Gaumer in Yucatan growing in dense forests, and we now have living specimens from his collections. We now find that Major E. A. Goldman collected it some years ago in Yucatan but it was not recognized at that time. Goldman's plant grows in dense patches on Cantay Island, collected April 22, 1901 (No. 661).

Figure 276 represents a sterile branch of the plant as grown in the collection of the United States Department of Agriculture.

6. Selenicereus pteranthus (Link and Otto) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 43 1. 1909.

Cereus pteranthus Link and Otto, Allg. Gartenz. 2: 209. 1834.

Cereus nycticallus Link in A. Dietrich, Verh. Ver. Beförd. Gartenb. 10: 372. 1834.

Cereus brevispinulus Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 339. 1834.

Stems stout, often to 5 cm. in diameter, bluish green to purple, strongly 4 to 6-angled; ribs of young branches sometimes 2 to 3 mm. high; spines 1 to 4, 1 to 3 mm. long, dark, conic; flowers 25 to 30 cm. long, very fragrant; the tube and throat 13 cm. long, swollen above, 5 cm. in diameter; outer perianth-segments linear, 12 cm. long; inner perianth-segments white, spatulate-oblong, 3 to 4 cm. broad above, acuminate; filaments numerous, greenish to cream-colored, the upper row reaching forward upturned near the tip 6 cm long; lower stamens elongated unequal 8 to 12 cm

*The species was originally spelled in the Allgemeine Gartenzeitung Cereus donkelaarii but was indexed in the same book as Cereus donkelarii. It is also written Cereus donkelaeri.

fAlthough the usual spelling of this name is with one 1, it was originally spelled by Link as it is here.

M. E. Eaton del.

Flowering branch of Selenicereus urbanianus. (Natural size.)

long, weak, reclining on the lower side of the flower-tube and attached along the inner face of the tube for 7 to 8 cm.; tube-proper about 2 cm. long, yellow within; style 20 cm. long, yellowish green, bronzed above, thick but weak; stigma-lobes numerous, linear; ovary covered with long white silky hairs and bristles, 10 to 12 mm. long; fruit globular, red, 6 to 7 cm. in diameter.

Type locality: Mexico.

Distribution: Mexico; known to us only from cultivated specimens or from plants escaped from gardens.

Cereus antoinii (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 114. 1837) is known only as a synonym of Cereus nycticallus. Cereus rosaceus, first mentioned by De Candolle (Prodr. 3: 471. 1828), is only a garden name which Pfeiffer (Enum. Cact. 114. 1837) referred to C. nycticallus.

Cereus peanii Beguin first mentioned in Rebut's Catalogue (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 4: 173. 1894) has never been formally published. According to Weber, it is a hybrid of which Cereus nycticallus is one of the parents. Cereus nothus (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 4: 173. 1894), grown by Gruson but never described, is, according to Schumann, Cereus pterogonus. Cereus nothus Wendland (Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 143. 1897), however, he says is a hybrid.

Several varieties of this species have been named, most of which doubtless belong here; at least the following do: C. nycticalus gracilior Haage (Förster, Handb. Cact. 416. 1846), C. nycticalus maximiliani (Arendt, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 1: 58. 1891), and C. nycticalus viridior Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 51, 216. 1850). It has frequently been used by gardeners in making hybrids, especially with S. grandiflorus and Heliocereus speciosus.

This is a common plant in conservatories.

Illustrations: Amer. Garden 11: 471 Dict. Gard. Nicholson 1: f. 408; Lemaire, Cact. f. 11; Rümpler, Sukkulenten f. 70, 71; Verh. Ver. Beförd. Gartenb. 10: pl. 4, all as Cereus nycticallus.

Plate xxxiii, figure 1, shows a fruiting branch of a plant obtained from J. E. Barre in 1901, which flowered in the New York Botanical Garden in 1915.

7. Selenicereus kunthianus (Otto) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 430. 1909.

Cereus kunthianus Otto in Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 217. 1850.

Stems elongate, weak, bluish green or purplish, 1 to 2.5 cm. thick; ribs 5 to 10, low; spines only 1 to 2 mm. long, 7 to 9; flowers 24 cm. long, the slender tube about 12 cm. long; outer perianth-segments numerous, linear, shorter than the white inner ones; axils of scales on ovary and flower-tube with long silky hairs; fruit unknown.

Type locality: Not cited.

Distribution: Known only in cultivation; said to have come from Honduras.

We are basing our determination of this species on a plant sent under this name to Dr. Rose from the Berlin Botanical Garden (1909); this has 5-angled stems. The original description of the species calls for 7-angled to 10-angled stems, however. There may be this amount of variability in the stems, or there may be two species involved.

Figure 277 shows a branch of a plant in the collection of the New York Botanical Garden, received from the Berlin Botanical Garden.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Building Your Own Greenhouse

Building Your Own Greenhouse

You Might Just End Up Spending More Time In Planning Your Greenhouse Than Your Home Don’t Blame Us If Your Wife Gets Mad. Don't Be A Conventional Greenhouse Dreamer! Come Out Of The Mould, Build Your Own And Let Your Greenhouse Give A Better Yield Than Any Other In Town! Discover How You Can Start Your Own Greenhouse With Healthier Plants… Anytime Of The Year!

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment