Ferocactus covillei sp nov

Plant simple, globular to short-cylindric, often 1.5 meters high; ribs 22 to 32, 2 to 4 cm. high, rather thin, when young more or less tubercled, but when old hardly undulate; areoles on small plants distant, often 3 to 4 cm. apart, but on old and flowering plants approximate or contiguous, densely brown-felted when young, naked in age, the spine-bearing areoles large and circular; the flowering areoles more elongated and complex, divided into three parts, the lower part bearing spines, the central part spinescent glands, and the upper part the flower; spines variable as to color, sometimes red to white; radial spines 5 to 8, somewhat spreading, subulate, straight or more or less curved backward, 3 to 6 cm. long, annulate; central spine always solitary, very variable, straight or with the tip bent or even strongly hooked, annulate, terete to strongly flattened or 3-angled, 3 to 8 cm. long; upper areoles of old plants bearing to 7 glands, becoming spinescent, 5 to 6 mm. long; flowers described as red, tipped with yellow, sometimes reported as yellow throughout, 6 to 7 cm. long; inner perianth-segments linear-oblong, acuminate, often serrate; throat broad, covered with stamens; tube-proper short, 2 to 3 mm. long; fruit oblong, 5 cm. long, bearing a few broad scales; seeds black, dull or shining, nearly smooth or slightly pitted, 2 mm. long.

Collected on hills and mesas near Altar, Sonora, Mexico, by C. C. Pringle, August 11, 1884 (type), by Rose, Standley, and Russell on plain near Empalme, Sonora, March 11, 1910 (No. 12642), and by F. V. Coville, 10 miles west of Torres, Sonora, February 10, 1903

This species ranges from southern Arizona to Guaymas, Sonora. It has heretofore passed as Echinocactus emoryi; the type of that species, however, came from southwestern New Mexico and has been referred by us as a synonym of Ferocactus wislizeni. Dr. Engelmann in his synopsis of the Cactaceae and in his later references transferred the name emory to the plant here described. This species needs further study; the color of the flowers is not definitely known and there is considerable variation in the markings of the seeds. The species as here considered has a wide range altitudinally and may include more than one species. We have reluctantly referred here two specimens (Nos. 4154 and 4155), collected by J. C. Blumer from the Comobabi Mountains, Arizona.

From this and related species water is often obtained by travelers in the great deserts of western Mexico and the southwestern United States. This has been described and illustrated by Dr. F. V. Coville in an article "Desert Plants as a Source of Drinking Water." He tells how by slicing off the top of a large plant and mashing the pulp three quarts of drinkable water were obtained (Ann. Rep. Smiths. Inst. 1903: 499 to 505. 1904).

In Mexico a candy is made from the flesh of this and other large species. The spines and epidermis are all cut off; the flesh is cut into slices of various shapes and sizes and then cooked in sugar. This candied product is sold in all the towns and markets of Mexico.

Illustrations: Journ. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 3: 95. f. 1, as Cereus sp.; Carnegie Inst. Wash. 6: pl. 18; MacDougal, Bot. N. Amer. Des. pl. 8, 62; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 25: 93; Nat. Geogr. Mag. 21: 712; Amer. Gard. 11: 459; Möllers Deutsche Gärt. Zeit. 25: 474. f. 6, No. 25; Schelle, Handb. Kakteenk. 161. f. 90; Dict. Gard. Nicholson 4: 539. f. 20; Suppl. 354. f.

Gard. Chron. III. 35: 181. f. 76; Engler and Prantl, Pflanzenfam. 36a: f. 56, D; Strand Mag. 626, 627; Goebel, Pflanz. Schild. 1: f. 47; Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 208. f. 16; Ann. Rep. Smiths. Inst. 1903: 500. f. 1; pl. 1, 2; Cact. Mex. Bound. pl. 28; Pac. R. Rep. 4: pl. 3, f. 3; Watson, Cact. Cult. 101. f. 34; ed. 3. 52. f. 22, as Echinocactus emoryi; Bull. Geol. Surv. 613: pl. 38 A, without name.

Figure 138 is from a photograph of the plant, taken by F. E. Lloyd in the Quijotoa Mountains, Arizona, in 1906; figure 139 is from a photograph taken by Dr. MacDougal near Torres, Sonora, in 1903.

Ferocactus Schwarzii Type Locality
Figs. 138 and 139.—Ferocactus covillei.

13. Ferocactus peninsulae (Weber).

Echinocactus peninsulae Weber, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 1: 320. 1895.

Simple, erect, 2.5 meters high, clavate to cylindric; ribs 12 to 20, prominent; areoles 4 cm. apart or even less in old plants; spines red with yellow tips; radial spines 11, spreading, straight, terete, more or less annulate, the lower ones stouter and more colored; central spines 4.

Type locality: Lower California, but no definite locality cited.

Distribution: Southern Lower California.

Engelmann and Weber seemed to have been in agreement regarding this species being new, but Engelmann's name (Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 3: 361. 1896) was based on Gabb's specimen (No. 11), now preserved in the Missouri Botanical Garden, while Weber's name is based on Diguet's plant. The plants of these two collections may or may not be con-specific. We have seen only Engelmann's specimen which we have used in making our illustration.

In December 1920, Dr. William S. W. Kew sent us fruit and a small living plant from near Boca de Guadalupe on the west coast of Lower California which we believe belongs here. His plant is less than 10 cm. high with 8 broad ribs; young areoles brown-felted, circular; radial spines spreading, brownish or white; central spines 4, grayish brown, the lower one flattened, strongly hooked, annulate; flowers yellow; fruit yellowish, 2.5 cm. long, bearing broad rounded scales; seeds 2 mm. long, reticulate. The plant is known as bisnaga or visnaga, as are also other species of this relationship. Dr. Kew states that the Mexicans on the peninsula of Lower California often cut off the spines of this plant and use it as feed for cattle.

Illustrations: Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 101; Bull. Soc. Acclim. 52: f. 11; Möllers Deutsche Gärt. Zeit. 25: 474. f. 10, as Echinocactus peninsulae.

Figure 140 shows the spines of a specimen in the Engelmann herbarium collected by William M. Gabb in Lower California.

Ferocactus Emoryi Subs Covillei
Fig. 140.—Ferocactus peninsulae. Fig. 141.—Ferocactus robtustus

14. Ferocactus rectispinus (Engelmann).

Echinocactus emoryi rectispinus Engelmann in Coulter, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 3: 362. 1896.

Echinocactus rectispinus Britton and Rose, Journ. N. V. Bot. Gard. 12: 269. 1911.

Globose to cylindric, 1 to 2 meters high; radial spines 8 to 12, the three tipper spines stouter and sometimes curved; central spine one, 9 to 13 cm. long (not 30 to 32 cm. long), rather slender, nearly straight, never hooked; flowers 6 cm. long, yellowish; scales on ovary rounded, thin-margined, sometimes ciliate, naked in the axils; inner perianth-segments lemon-yellow, lanceolate, 5 cm. long, acuminate.

Type locality: Vicinity of Muleje, Lower California.

Distribution: Central Lower California.

This species was described as a variety of Echinocactus emoryi (i. e. Ferocactus covillei) by Dr. Coulter, but it seems distinct, especially in its spines.

Mr. C. H. Thompson in Bailey's Cyclopedia of American Horticulture assigned it to the southern United States, but this is erroneous.

The type is Gabb's No. 12, from Lower California. It consists of two clusters of spines and is now deposited in the herbarium of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Palmer's specimen from Sonora, referred here by Coulter, may be F. wislizeni.

Illustrations: Cycl. Amer. Hort. Bailey 2: 513. f. 745, as Echinocactus emoryi rectispinus; Stand. Cycl. Hort. Bailey 2: f. 1372, as Echinocactus rectispinus.

Plate xiv, figure 2, shows the flowering top of a plant sent by Dr. Rose from the head of Concepción Bay, Lower California, to the New York Botanical Garden in 1911. Figure 142 is from a photograph of the type specimen obtained by William M. Gabb in 1867 (No. 12).

15. Ferocactus orcuttii (Engelmann).

Echinocactus orcuttii Engelmann, West Amer. Sci. 2: 46. 1886.

Single, or cespitose in clusters of 15 to 20 stems, 6 to 13 dm. high, 2.5 to 4.5 dm. in diameter; ribs 13 to 30, somewhat spiraled, obtuse, somewhat tuberculate; areoles approximate; spines reddish, straight or simply curved, all annulate, angled or flat; radial spines 9 to 13, spreading; central spines 4, stouter than the radials; flower 3 to cm. long, dull crimson; perianth-segments short-oblong, rounded at apex with a more or less erose-margin; scales on the ovary orbicular, small; stigma-lobes 16 to 20, green; fruit described as pulpy, crimson, scaly; seeds numerous, small.

Type locality: Palm Valley, Lower California.

Distribution: Definitely known only from type locality. Recorded from San Diego.

Palm Valley is not shown on ordinary maps. We wrote to Mr. E. C. Rost who recently returned from northern Lower California to locate the place and he writes as follows: "Palm Valley is about 40 miles southeast of Tia Juana, and is probably not noted on any of the maps as it is not a pueblo, but merely the watershed of the Rio Tia Juana." He subsequently visited Palm Valley and sent us two plants, neither of them quite agreeing with the descriptions of the species.

Fig. 142.—Ferocactus rectispinus.

We know this plant only from descriptions and illustrations. After our manuscript was in type Mr. C. R. Orcutt wrote us as follows: "You know, I suppose that I consider Echinocactus orcuttii only a luxuriant development of E. viridescens? At Palm Valley, Lower California, I have seen it very large and one cluster contained 25 heads, forming quite a large mass. I found one large cristate." The published illustrations do not indicate close relationship with F. viridescens.

Illustrations: West Amer. Sci. 2: 47; 7: 69; Schelle, Handb. Kakteenk. 166. f. 96; Blanc, Cacti 49. f. 575, a Echinocactus orcuttii.

16. Ferocactus robustus (Link and Otto).

Echinocactus robustus Link and Otto, Allg. Gartenz. 1: 364. 1833.

Echinofossulocactus robustus Lawrence in Loudon, Gard. Mag. 17: 318. 1841.

In large clumps, often 3 meters, rarely 5 meters, in diameter, 1 to 1.3 meters high, with hundreds of branches; ribs 8, prominent in young growth, but becoming indistinct in age, somewhat undulate; areoles brown-felted when young; radial spines ascending, about 10, often thread-like; central spines subulate, about 6, brown at first, somewhat flattened, annulate, often 6 cm. long; flowers 3.5 to 4 cm. long; inner perianth-segments oblong, acute, yellowish; scales on the ovary broad, rounded at tip;. fruit 2 to 2.5 cm. long; seeds black, oblong, 1.5 mm. long.

Type locality: Mexico.

Distribution: Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico.

The large mounds formed by this plant are striking features of the landscape; the individual heads are globose or short-oblong, 1 to 2 dm. in diameter.

Echinocactus robustus prolifer (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 61. 1837) to which Echinocactus ag-glomeratus Karwinsky was assigned as a synonym seems to be the normal form of the species, while var. monstrosus (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 61. 1837) is an abnormal form. To it were referred also as synonyms Echinocactus spectabilis and E. subuliferus (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 61. 1837). This latter name, according to Pfeiffer, is different from E. subuliferus Link and Otto (Verh. Ver. Beförd. Gartenb. 3: 427. pl. 27. 1827) collected in Mexico by Deppe. The flowers and fruit were unknown.

Illustrations: Nov. Act. Nat. Cur. 19: pl. 16, f. 3, 6; Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 10: pl. 16, f. A; Möllers Deutsche Gärt. Zeit. 25: 474. f. 6, No. 9 29: 441. f. 17 Karsten and Schenck, Vegetationsbilder 1: pl. 44, as Echinocactus robustus; Verh. Ver. Beförd. Gartenb. 3: pl. 27, as [.Echinocactus] subuliferus.

Figure 141 shows the flower, copied from the first illustration above cited. Figure 143 is from a photograph of the plant taken by

Echinocactus echidne P. De Candolle, Mém. Cact. 19. 1834.

Echinocactus vanderaeyi Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 20. 1838.

Echinocactus dolichacanthus Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 25. 1838.

Echinofossulocactus vanderaeyi Lawrence in Loudon, Gard. Mag. 17: 318. 1841.

Echinofossulocactus vanderaeyi ignotus-longispinus Lawrence in Loudon, Gard. Mag. 17: 318. 1841.

Echinofossulocactus echidne Lawrence in Loudon, Gard. Mag. 17: 318. 1841.

Echinocactus gilvus Dietrich, Allg. Gartenz. 13: 170. 1845.

Echinocactus echidne gilvus Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 27. 1850.

Echinocactus victoriensis Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 291. 1909.

Depressed-globose, 12.5 cm. high, 8 cm. in diameter, green; ribs 13, acute, broad at base; areoles remote, velvety when young, oval in shape; radial spines rigid, about 7, about 2 cm. long, yellow; central spine solitary, porrect, 3 cm. long or more; flowers lemon-yellow; perianth-segments linear-oblong, acute, sometimes toothed near the apex; stigma-lobes about to, elongated, spreading or reflexed; scales on the ovary ovate, acute.

Type locality: Mexico.

Distribution: Hidalgo, Mexico.

Echinocactus dolichocentrus Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 22. 1845) is usually referred here as a synonym but it was never described.

Illustrations: Blühende Kakteen 3: pl. 146; Schelle, Handb. Kakteenk. 156. f. 83; De Candolle, Mem. Cact. pl. 11, as Echinocactus echidne.

Figure 144 is copied from the last illustration above cited.

Ferocactus Schwarzii Type Locality
Fig. 143.—Ferocactus robustus.

17. Ferocactus echidne* (P. De Candolle).

Fig. 144.—Ferocactus echidne.

*Schumann has changed the spelling of this name to E. echidna.

Continue reading here: Ferocactus alamosanus Britton and Rose

Was this article helpful?

0 0