Mediocactus megalanthus Schumann

Cereus megalanthus Schumann, Bot. Jahrb. Engler 40: 412. 1907.

Growing in trees, forming masses of long pendent branches; branches often only 1.5 cm. broad, rooting freely, 3-angled; margin of angles only slightly undulating; spines 1 to 3, yellowish, 2 to 3 mm. long, when young associated with several white bristles; flowers very large, 38 cm. long, white; inner perianth-segments 11 cm. long, 3.5 cm. broad; stamens numerous; stigma-lobes numerous.

Type locality: Near the town of Tarapoto, Department of Loreto, eastern Peru.

Distribution: Andes of Peru and possibly Colombia and Bolivia.

This species was very briefly described at place cited above and had been previously illustrated (see below). Vaupel (Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin 5: 284. 1913) has published an extended account which enables us to refer the plant definitely to this genus.

In 1914 Mr. Weingart sent Dr. Rose a cutting of this species but it has grown little since, although it has developed long aerial roots. It was briefly described in a Kew Bulletin (Kew Bull. Misc. Inf. 1914; App. 61. 1914).

The plant seems to have one of the largest flowers known among cacti and, according to Vaupel, is rivaled only by Selenicereus urbanianus.

A specimen similar to Cereus megalanthus was collected growing in trees by R. S. Williams at Charopampa, Bolivia, September 27, 1901 (No. 881). Mr. Williams says that his plant was many yards in length. It is without flowers or fruit.

Illustration: Karsten and Schenck, Vegetationsbilder 2: pl. 5, as Cereus megalanthus.

Figure 292 is a reproduction of the illustration above cited.

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