Cereus eruca Brandegee, Proc. Calif. Acad. II. 2: 163. 1889.
Lemaireocereus eruca Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 425. 1909.
Prostrate, except the erect or ascending tips; branches 1 to 3 meters long, 4 to 8 cm. in diameter, usually simple, rooting on the under surface, dying at the older end and growing forward at the other; sometimes several plants starting as branches from a common parent as a center and first radiating out, then dying at the rear; ribs about 12; areoles large, 2 cm. apart; spines about 20, very unequal, pale gray, the outer ones terete, the inner ones stout and flatter, the longest about 3 cm. long; flowers 10 to 12 cm. long, described as yellow; tube about 10 cm. long, nearly 6 mm. in diameter; limb 4 to 6 cm. broad; ovary very spiny; fruit spiny, 4 cm. long; seeds black.
Type locality: Magdalena Island, Lower California.
Distribution: Lower California.
The plant is known in Lower California as chirinola and creeping devil cactus. Mr. Brandegee describes it as follows:
"Its manner of growth with uplifted heads and prominent reflexed spines gives the plants a resemblance to huge caterpillars."
While this resemblance is true of the plants when growing in the open, it is especially striking when the plant meets with some obstruction such as a log or large stone. Then it raises its head, crawls up one side and down the other, and finally by the dying of the rear virtually passes over the obstruction.
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