Lemaireocereus humilis sp nov

Stems weak, forming dense thickets, dark green, 1 to 4 meters long, about 4 cm. thick, usually with few branches or none; ribs 3 or 4, sometimes 6, more or less interrupted, little undulate; areoles borne in the depressions of the ribs, large, white-felted, bearing spines only in the lower part; spines 5 to 8, brown, becoming white, acicular, 1 to 2 cm. long; flowers greenish white, about 6 cm. long; outer perianth-segments linear-oblong, spreading; ovary with small scattered scales, at first without spines; fruit very spiny, spherical, 4 cm. long.

Fig. 150.—Flowering branch of Lemaireocereus humilis. Fig. 151.—L. humilis: a, cross-section of stem; b, longitudinal section of rib; c, cluster of spines; d, flower; e, fruit.

Collected by H. Pittier at Venticas del Dagua, Dagua Valley, wWestern Cordillera of Colombia, altitude 700 to 1,000 meters, February 1906, and described from a plant collected by him (New York Botanical Garden, No. 34794) and from his field notes and detailed and habit photographs. It is called tuna colorado.

This plant is quite different from the other species in its slender stems with very few ribs and in its tendency to form dense thickets, but it has the characteristic flower and fruit of this genus.

Figure 149 is from a photograph taken by Henry Pittier at the type locality; figure 150 shows a flowering branch, and figure 151 shows details of the type.

21. Lemaireocereus dumortieri (Scheidweiler) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 425.


Cereus dumortieri Scheidweiler, Hort. Belge 4: 220. 1837.

Often tree-like, 6 to 15 meters high, the trunk proper short, 6 to 10 dm. long, 3 dm. in diameter or more, woody; branches many, erect almost from the first, with numerous constrictions, very pale bluish green or somewhat glaucous; ribs generally 6, sometimes or 7, occasionally 9 on very old joints; areoles elliptic, approximate or often confluent, gray-felted; spines various in number and in length, 10 to 20 radials, 1 central or more, the longer ones often 4 cm. long, all at first straw-colored but in age blackened; flowers 5 cm. long, the tube and ovary bearing small ovate scales with bunches of felt and occasionally bristles in their axils, the limb about 2.5 cm. broad; fruit oblong, small, 3 to 4 cm. long, reddish within, not spiny, its areoles nearly contiguous, felted; seeds brownish, 1.5 mm. long, dull, roughened.

Type locality: Incorrectly given as Buenos Aires (see note below).

Distribution: Central Mexico.

Our description is drawn from numerous specimens collected by Dr. Rose in central Mexico. This is the plant which passes as Cereus dumortieri in collections, but from the description alone one can hardly be certain. It ranges over a considerable territory, but is never abundant, being found generally as large isolated individuals on the sides of rocky hills and cliffs.

Greenhouse plants much resemble Pachycereus marginatus, and both species have small flowers; but the wild plants are very unlike and the fruit and seeds differ widely.

Although Scheidweiler in his original description of this species referred it to "Buenos Ayres," he doubtless made a mistake, as he must have done in his reference of Mammillaria obconella in the same publication. The original description does not correspond to any known South American cactus, but does represent fairly well our central Mexican species which passes under this name. In 1845 the species was listed by Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 30) as from the Belgian Gardens (H. Belg.) . In 1850 (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 210) he published an original description apparently based on the Belgian specimens; but evidently he had forgotten the older publication. Schumann and most writers since 1850 have assigned Prince Salm-Dyck as the author of this species. Weber (Dict. Hort. Bois 279. 1895) seems to have been the first botanist to refer the species to Mexico.

Cereus anisacan thus De Candolle (Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 116. 1828) is doubtfully referred here by Schumann. If it should prove to be the same, it would, of course, supplant the present name. Its two varieties, ortholophus and subspiralis (De Candolle, Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 117. 1828), so far as we can determine, belong here also.

This species is anomalous in Lemaireocereus, having very small flowers and spineless fruit, but the scales of the ovary sometimes subtend bristles, if not spines, in their axils.

Illustration: Hort. Belge 4: pl. 15, as Cereus dumortieri.

Fig. 152.—Fruit of Lemaire ocereus dumortieri. X0.8.

Fig. 153.—Lemaireocereus dumortieri.

Fig. 152.—Fruit of Lemaire ocereus dumortieri. X0.8.

Plate xv, figure 2, shows the top of a plant brought by Dr. Rose from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, in 1906. Figure 152 shows the fruit of a plant from Hidalgo; figure 153 is from a photograph taken by him in Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1905.

SPECIES NOT GROUPED. Lemaireocereus schumannii (Mathsson) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 425. 1909.

Cereus schumannii Mathsson in Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 9: 131. 1899.

Plants tall and stout, 15 meters high, with few branches; ribs 8, thick and high, very obtuse, somewhat pruinose; spines 6 or 7, radial, 1 central, all white with brown tips; flowers and fruit unknown.

Type locality: Honduras.

Distribution: Known only in cultivation.

Little is known regarding this species and from the brief description we are unable to place it definitely in our key. It may be only a form of L. griseus so widely cultivated in Mexico and Central America and is near L. aragonii and possibly not specifically distinct.

Lemaireocereus sp.

Cereus rigidispinus Monville, Hort. Univ. 1: 223. 1840.

"Erect, stout, dark green, somewhat glaucous; ribs thick, rounded; sinuses open, deep, acute. Spines very strong and stiff, whitish, divaricate. Trunk 2 feet in diameter, having 7 ribs about 9 lines by 5 lines thick at the middle. Areoles 6 to 10 lines apart, a little sunken, subovate, a little convex, covered with a very short grayish nap, bearing 6 to 8 very unequal spines, the strongest, as well as the weakest, arising from no particular point, 3 to 13 lines long and 1/4 to 1 line in diameter, all exceedingly stiff, whitish and black at the tip, sometimes 2 centrals or larger ones united along their entire length. Habitat: Mexico. Flowers and fruit unknown. This plant should be placed in Cat. Monv. between Cer. Hystrix and eburneus. In spite of its peculiar appearance, it shows some similarities to them, especially to the latter." (Translated from De Monville, Hort. Univ. 1: 223. 1840.)

Type locality: Mexico.

Schumann refers Cereus hildmannii Hortus (Gesamtb. Kakteen 57. 1897) here as a synonym.

Lemaireocereus sp.

Cereus conformis Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 203. 1850.

Stems erect, robust, 3 dm. high, 10 cm. in diameter, glaucous, green; ribs 7, crenate; areoles 18 mm. apart, orbicular, densely grayish, tomentose; radial spines 7 to 9, 6 to 8 mm. long; central spines 1 to 3, a little stouter than the radial; flowers and fruit unknown.

Type locality: Mexico.

It was sent from Mexico by Ehrenberg to the Berlin Botanical Garden in 1840, but has doubtless long since disappeared. Schumann did not know the species, but Weingart (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 15: 79. 1905) considers it identical with Cereus aragonii. It may be a Lemaireocereus, but we doubt its being L. aragonii, which is a native of Costa Rica.

Lemaireocereus sp.

Joints bright green, not at all glaucous; ribs about 2 cm. high, separated by V-shaped intervals; margin of ribs somewhat crenate with the areoles borne at the top of the crenations; radial spines about 8, 1 to 2 cm. long; central spine usually solitary, erect or porrect, sometimes 10 cm. long.

This plant was sent to the New York Botanical Garden by Dr. George F. Gaumer in 1918, but it has not yet flowered (New York Botanical Garden No. 46120). Dr. Gaumer has also sent from Yucatan two other plants which are of this relationship which we are unable to place. His No. 23941 has 7 ribs and numerous short spines; it did not live. His No. 23922 has 10 ribs and also short spines.

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