Selenicereus murrillii sp nov

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A very slender vine, 6 meters long or more, 8 mm. in diameter, freely giving off long slender aerial roots, dark green with the ribs more or less purplish, the scaly leaves at tips of branches minute, pinkish; ribs 7 or 8, low, obtuse, separated by low broad intervals; areoles 1 to 2 cm. apart, small, bearing white wool and minute spines; spines 5 or 6, minute, the two lower ones longer and reflexed, 1 to 2 cm. long; the other spines conic, greenish to black; flower-buds small, oblong, long-acuminate; flower opening at night, 15 cm. long, 15 cm. broad from tip to tip of the outer perianth-segments; tube and throat 6 cm. long, purplish green without, narrowly funnelform, bearing a few slightly elevated areoles, these white-felted and bearing one or two minute spines, the scales on the tube minute but those on the throat lanceolate, 3 to 10 mm. long and widely spreading even on the flower-buds; tube-proper smooth within; throat about 2 cm. long, covered with stamens; outer perianth-segments 12 to 14, greenish yellow or the outer ones purplish on the back, widely spreading, linear to linear-lanceolate, acute; inner perianth-segments pure white except the outermost ones and these greenish, together forming a campanulate corolla; segments broadly spatulate, to 5 cm. long, obtuse; stamens numerous, slender, weak and somewhat declining on the perianth-segments, cream-colored; style slender, weak, cream-colored; stigma-lobes 9, linear, cream-colored; ovary bearing numerous rather large areoles, these white-felted and with 1 to 3 short spines but no long hairs.

Collected by Dr. W. A. Murrill, near Colima, Mexico, in 1910 (No. 31802 N. Y. B. G.). Although we have had it growing in Washington and New York for more than eight years, we have obtained but one flower. It grows vigorously, giving off many long aerial roots, soon reaching the top of the greenhouses. It has occasionally made small flower-buds, but these soon fall. Toward the last of May 1918, plants in Washington began to develop numerous flower-buds and gave every promise of an abundance of flowers, but a very hot spell occurred the first of June when the thermometer in the greenhouse rose to 114° Fahrenheit, and all the buds but one were killed. The plant, doubtless, needs half-shade conditions. Now that we have studied a mature flower we feel justified. in referring this plant to Selenicereus, although it does not belong with the typical forms. The flower-bud and flower are similar to those of S. vagans. The flower itself in its bell-shaped perianth of short white segments, in its funnel-shaped flower-tube bearing scattered areoles, and in its ovary with short stubby spines resembles very much species of Acanthocereus but in habit and other respects it is very different.

Figure 285c shows a branch with young flower-buds, 285^ a terminal shoot.

14. Selenicereus spinulosus (De Candolle) Britton and Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 431. 1909.

Cereus spinulosus De Candolle, Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 117. 1828.

Stems clambering, 2 to 4 meters long, 1 to 2 cm. in diameter, producing numerous aerial roots, light green, somewhat shining, usually angled but sometimes nearly terete; ribs 4 to 6, or sometimes more; spines very short, yellowish or becoming blackish; radial spines 5 or 6, with 2 reflexed bristles at the base of the areole; central spine 1, rarely 2, on juvenile branches more numerous and more acicular, white; flower 12 to 14 cm. long; its tube about 5 cm. long, with a few clusters of small spines; outer perianth-segments narrowly oblong, 5 to 6 cm. long, acute, spreading; inner perianth-segments pinkish to white, narrowly oblong, acute; stamens white, attached along the inner surface of the throat; stigma-lobes white; ovary covered with clusters of spines similar to those on the tube.

Fig. 286.—Selenicereus spinulosus. X0.66.

Type locality: Mexico.

Distribution: Eastern Mexico to southeastern Texas.

Illustration: Blühende Kakteen 1: pl. 53, as Cereus spinulosus.

Plate xxxviii, figure 2, shows a flowering branch of a specimen obtained by Dr. Rose from Texas in 1900, which flowered in the New York Botanical Garden, April 9, 1912. Figure 286 shows a growing shoot from a plant obtained by Dr. E. Palmer at Victoria, Mexico, in 1907.

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