A. Scales of ovary and perianth-tube fleshy or herbaceous.
Wool of ovary-areoles copious, mostly longer than the scales. Perianth-tube broad; branches many-ribbed.
Areoles of ovary and perianth-tube densely felted, but without long wool. Joints green or but slightly glaucous.
All areoles of the perianth-tube densely felted, the scales short.
Spines brown to gray or sometimes black
Spines of young growth yellowish brown
Upper areoles of perianth-tube little or scarcely felted, scales long
Flowering areoles bearing many short, weak spines
Flowering areoles bearing several acicular stiff spines
Young growth glaucous, the bloom persistent as whitish streaks . . . . Areoles of ovary and perianth-tube bearing copious yellow-brown wool 1.5
Perianth-tube narrow; branches 5 to 7-angled
Wool of ovary-areoles sparse, shorter than the coriaceous scales
AA. Scales of ovary and perianth-tube dry
AAA. Species not grouped
P. pringlei P. orcuttii
P. gaumeri P. grandis
P. chrysomallus P. marginatus P. ruficeps P. lepidanthus P. columna-trajani
1. Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 422. 1909.
Cereus pringlei S. Watson, Proc. Amer.
Cereus calvus Engelmann in Coulter, Contr.
Cereus titan Engelmann in Coulter, Contr.
Pilocereus pringlei Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois
966. 1898, name only.
Pachycereus calvus Britton and Rose, Contr.
Pachycereus titan Britton and Rose, Contr.
Tree-like, up to 11 meters high, usually with a very short, thick trunk, sometimes 1 or even 2 meters long or more, often 6 dm. but sometimes 2 meters in diameter or more, very woody and in age naked; stem sometimes nearly simple but often with numerous, thick, upright branches, more or less glaucous, very spiny or in some forms nearly naked; ribs usually 11 to 15 but sometimes 17, obtuse; areoles, especially the flowering ones, very large, brown-felted, usually confluent or connected by a groove; spines variable as to length, abundance, and structure, usually more formidable in young plants than in old plants, often wanting in very old plants; spines on young growth 20 or more at an areole, 1 to 2 cm. long, white but with black tips, or on young plants sometimes 12 cm. long and black throughout; flower-bearing region of the branches extending from near the top downward sometimes for 2 meters, the areoles becoming broad and uniting, often spineless; flower-buds greenish; flowers 6 to 8 cm. long, the tube and ovary bearing small, acute scales, these nearly hidden by the mass of brown hairs produced in their axils; inner perianth-segments white, broad, spreading; fruit globular, covered with brown felt and bristles, dry; seeds large, edible.
P. chrysomallus P. marginatus P. ruficeps P. lepidanthus P. columna-trajani
Type locality: South of the Altar River, Sonora, Mexico.
Distribution: Sonora and Lower California.
This is a very interesting and important cactus in northwestern Mexico, often the dominant plant in the landscape. On the plain about Guaymas solitary plants, giants of the race, are seen, which are doubtless remnants of great forests which once covered this plain. In Lower California protected valleys and hillsides are now covered with forests made up almost entirely of this species. The natives call these plants cardon. They gather the wood for firewood and use it to make walking-canes, or in building their simple houses, especially for rafters and beams; the Yaqui Indians, especially, gather the seeds and make a kind of flour by crushing them, and this is made into tomales. It is common in western Sonora, on many of the islands in the Gulf of California, all along the east coast of Lower California, and along the west coast of Lower California as far north as Magdalena Bay. In this distribution we have included the two species Cereus calvus and C. titan, both of which were described from spine-clusters. They may or may not be specifically distinct from P. pringlei, but without further data it is best to refer them here.
Illustrations: Gard. and For. 2: f. 92; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 119; Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 16: pl. 1, f. 1 to 4; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 13; Schelle, Handb. Kakteenk. f. 19; MacDougal, Bot. N. Amer. Des. pl. 12, 13; Rep. U. S. Nat. Mus. 1897: pl. 6, as Cereus pringlei; Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 16: pl. 130; Stand. Cycl. Hort. Bailey 5: f. 2695.
Figure 104 is from a photograph taken at Magdalena Bay, Lower California.
2. Pachycereus orcuttii (K. Brandegee) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 422. 1909.
Cereus orcuttii K. Brandegee, Zoe 5: 3. 1900.
"Stems erect, branching, bright green, reaching a height of 3 meters and a diameter of 15 cm., with hard woody center; ribs 14 to 18, about 1 cm. high; areoles round, about 6 mm. in diameter and about half that distance apart, densely covered with short, light gray wool; spines all slender, spreading, yellowish brown, irregularly 3-seriate; radials 12 to 20, about 12 mm. long, deficient above; intermediates about 10, one-third to more than twice as long, less spreading, one of the upper spines of this row usually stouter and darker, porrect, often reaching a length of 7 cm.; centrals about 5, porrect, spreading a little longer than the intermediates; flowers greenish brown, darker outside, diurnal, entire length about 4 cm.; petals short-apiculate; ovary densely covered with short scales, almost completely concealed by thick, rounded tufts of yellowish wool, in which are imbedded dark brown bristles 4 to 6 cm. long; stamens lining the upper half of the tube; style tips acute; fruit not known.
"The plant from which this description is drawn was obtained by Mr. C. R. Orcutt near Rosario, Baja California, in May 1886. It was brought to him by his guide, who found it off the trail some little distance. The cutting was planted in Mr. Orcutt's garden, and is now about 2 meters in height; has flowered but has formed no fruit. It is much the finest of the large Cerei of Baja California, being densely covered with bright yellow-brown spines."
Type locality: Rosario, Lower California.
Distribution: Known only from the type locality.
The above description and account are taken from Mrs. Brandegee's article in Zoe, June 1900. Dr. Rose saw the type plant in 1908 at San Diego, California, and at that time obtained a flower and bud from Mr. Orcutt. Afterwards Mr. Orcutt photographed the plant and a flower and sold the prints. The photograph has also been printed on cardboard and distributed in an advertisement for Orcutt's American plants. A set of these photographs is in the National Herbarium.
3. Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum (Engelmann) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12:
Cereus pecten-aboriginum Engelmann in S. Watson, Proc. Amer. Acad. 21: 429. 1886.
Tree-like, 5 to 10 meters high, with a trunk 1 to 2 meters high and 3 dm. in diameter, crowned with many erect branches; ribs 10 or 11; areoles 1 cm. in diameter or even less, extending downward in narrow grooves, in the flowering ones forming brownish cushions connecting with the areoles below, densely tomentose (grayish except in flowering ones, which are brownish or reddish); spines 8 to 12, I to 3 central, all short, usually 1 cm. long or less, but in some cases 3 cm. long, grayish with black tips; flowering areoles not much larger than the others; flowers 5 to 7.5 cm. long; ovary covered with dense soft hairs with only a few bristles or none; outer perianth-segments purple, succulent; inner ones white, fleshy; stamens very numerous; style with 10 linear stigma-lobes; fruit 6 to 7.5 cm. in diameter, dry, covered with yellow wool and long yellow bristles.
Type locality: Hacienda San Miguel, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Distribution: Chihuahua, Sonora, Colima, and Lower California.
Illustrations: Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 5: f. 32; pl. 57, 58; Gard. and For. 7: f. 54; Dict. Gard. Nicholson Suppl. f. 233, all as Cereus pecten-abo-riginum.
Figures 105 and 106 are copied from the two plates first cited above.
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