Arequipa leucotricha Philippi

Echinocactus leucotrichus Philippi, Anal. Mus. Nac. Chile 18912: 27. 1891.

Echinocactus clavatus Söhrens, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 10: 27. 1900.

Echinopsis hempeliana Gürke, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 16: 94. 1906.

Echinocactus rettigii Quehl, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 29: 129. 1919.

Plants simple or cespitose, sometimes branching, globular or sometimes elongated (4 to 6 din. long) and then often prostrate, usually covered with spines but naked below when very old; ribs 10 to 20, closely set, low; areoles close together; spines* 6 to 20, slender; central spines much longer than the radials, 2 to 3 cm. long; flowers 5 to 6 cm. long, with a long slender tube, scarlet; scales on ovary and flower-tube small, with long white hairs in their axils; fruit globular, 2 cm. in diameter.

Type locality: Naquira, Chile.

Distribution: Vicinity of Arequipa, southern Peru to northern Chile.

Dr. Rose found this species very common about Arequipa and for a long time he was unable to identify it. Its habit and dry fruit suggested some of the so-called species of Echinocactus but its slender red flower was not typical of that genus. It did not suggest the genus Echinopsis in any particular. A careful examination of the description of Echinopsis hempeliana Gürke and the cited illustration, however, points definitely to this Arequipa plant. The home of E. hempeliana was unknown to Gürke, but it is not unlikely that it was collected in southern Peru, perhaps at the time Opuntia hempeliana was found.

Here belongs doubtless the Arequipa plant mentioned by Schumann under Echinopsis rhodacantha.

After leaving Arequipa Dr. Rose went to Santiago, Chile, where he found in the herbarium of Dr. Philippi the type specimen of Echinocactus leucotrichus which has flowers almost identical with those of the Arequipa plant and we therefore adopt this specific name for the group. We have not seen specimens of Echinocactus clavatus but the illustration and description of the flowers point strongly to this species.

Echinocactus hempelianus Schumann (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 15: 178. 1905) is only a mentioned name.

Illustrations: Blühende Kakteen 2: pl. 85, as Echinopsis hempeliana; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen Nachtr. f. 17; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 10: 25, as Echinocactus clavatus.

Continue reading here: Arequipa myriacantha Vaupel

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