Mediocactus coccineus Salm Dyck

Cereus coccineus Salm-Dyck in De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 469. 1828.

Cereus setaceus Salm-Dyck in De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 469. 1828

Cereus setaceus viridior Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 65. 1834.

Cereus lindbergianus Weber in Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 151. 1897.

Cereus lindmanii Weber in Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 163. 1897.

Cereus hassleri Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 10: 45. 1900.

Stems usually climbing on trees, sometimes clambering over rocks or walls, developing many aerial roots, the joints pale green, various, sometimes 8 cm. broad, often only 2 cm. broad; angles usually 3, but sometimes 4 or even 5 on the same plant; young areoles 5 to 10 mm. apart, bearing brown felt and 10 to 15 white, radial, deciduous bristles followed by several spines; areoles of mature branches 2 to 3 cm. apart; spines at first pinkish, then brown or yellowish brown, conic, 1 to 2 mm. long, more or less swollen at base, usually only 2 or 3, sometimes more, rarely only 1; flowers 25 to 30 cm. long; outer perianth-segments linear, green, widely spreading; inner perianth-segments erect, broader than outer, upper margins serrate; style exserted, yellow; stigma-lobes about 16, linear, entire, yellow; the fruit somewhat pointed, 7 cm. long, edible, strongly tuberculate when young, its areoles bearing a cluster of spines 1 to 2 cm. long; flesh white; seeds black.

Type locality: Brazil.

Distribution: Argentina to Brazil.

All writers on the Cactaceae, including Salm-Dyck, are agreed that the Cereus coccineus described by De Candolle (Prodr. 3: 469. 1828) is different from the plant

Fig. 290.—Mediocactus coccineus.
Fig. 291.—Mediocactus coccineus.

afterwards described by Salm-Dyck under that name. This name of De Candolle has priority of place over Cereus setaceus and is, therefore, adopted by us for this well-known plant of eastern South America. The name coccineus was evidently given because the flowers were supposed to be red but it would very properly apply to the color of the fruit.

A plant was found growing on a garden wall, half-wild, at Cali, Cauca Valley, Colombia, December 1905, by H. Pittier, but we do not know it to be a native of Colombia.

Cereus prismaticus Salm-Dyck (De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 469. 1828. Not Haworth. 1819) is doubtless a Mediocactus; if really of South American origin, as stated by Schumann, it is probably M. coccineus.

Illustrations: Pfeiffer and Otto, Abbild. Beschr. Cact. 1: pl. 16, as Cereus setaceus; Vellozo, Fl. Plum. 5: pl. 24, as Cactus triangularis.

Plate xiii, figure 3, shows a fruiting branch and plate xxxvii a flowering branch of plants in the collection of the New York Botanical Garden. Figure 290 is from a photograph taken by Paul G. Russell at Nichteroy, Brazil, in 1915; figure 291 is from a photograph of a branch bearing young fruit collected by H. Pittier from a half-wild plant at Cali, Cauca Valley, Colombia, in 1905, possibly referable to the following species.

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