Selenicereus inermis Otto

Cereus inermis Otto in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 116. 1837.

Cereus karstenii Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 218. 1850.

Creeping or clambering over rocks and bushes, deep green, the branches 1 to 2.5 cm. thick, 3 to 5-ribbed or angled, the ribs compressed, acute, undulate; old branches naked but young branches bearing setae from the small areoles; areoles remote, sometimes 6 cm. apart, when young each borne on a knob or elevation terminating in a subtending tip or scale; flower just before opening 15 cm. long, with a long acuminate tip, nocturnal; outer perianth-segments linear-oblong, 9 to 10 cm. long, 8 to 10 mm. broad, yellowish green, but more or less purplish at base; inner perianth-segments oblong, 8 to 9 cm. long, pure white except the pinkish bases; filaments numerous, slender, weak, white; style very thick, hollow, 7 mm. in diameter, pinkish, 5 cm. long; stigma-lobes numerous, greenish, 12 mm. long; flower-tube green, 8 cm. long, cylindric, 1.5 cm.

in diameter, bearing a few scattered areoles, these brown-felted and with a cluster of 10 to 15 brown acicular spines, 1 cm. long or less and each subtended by an ovate linear scale; areoles on ovary closely set with clusters of brown acicular spines but no hairs.

Type locality: La Guayra, Venezuela. Distribution: Venezuela and Colombia.

Flower description drawn from flower opening in the New York Botanical Garden in

Cereus karstenii was sent by Hermann Karsten from Colombia and was described as near Cereus inermis, but twice as slender. We find, however, that true Cereus inermis, especially in cultivation, becomes elongated and slender. In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, Dr. Rose found specimens labeled Cereus karstenii which proved to be only slender forms of S. inermis. In 1916 Dr. Rose collected S. inermis at its type locality and obtained fruit of this species for the first time. C. inermis laetevirens Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 51. 1850) is only a name.

Figure 287 shows a joint of a plant collected by Dr. Rose between Caracas and La Guayra, Venezuela, in 1916.

Fig. 288.—Branches of Selenicereus wercklei. X0.66.
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