Ferocactus melocactiformis De Candolle

Echinocactus melocactiformis De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 462. 1828.

Echinocactus histrix De Candolle, Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 115. 1828.

Echinocactus coulteri G. Don, Gen. Syst. 3: 162. 1834.

Echinocactus oxypterus Zuccarini in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 57. 1837.

Echinocactus electracanthus Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 24. 1838.

Echinocactus lancifer Reichenbach in Terscheck, Cact. Suppl. 2.

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

Echinocactus electracanthus capuliger Monville in Lahouret, Monogr. Cact. 184. 1853

Simple, cylindric, 5 to 6 dm. in diameter, bluish green; ribs about 24; areoles 2 to 3 cm. apart spines usually 10 to 12, a little curved, yellow, becoming brown, of these 6 to 8 slender-subulate, 2 to 3 cm. long, more or less spreading; 3 or 4 spines more central than the others, but usually only one definitely so, much stouter and longer, 4 to 6 cm. long, porrect or ascending, annulate; flowers 2.5 to 3.5 cm. long, bright yellow, sometimes reddish without; inner perianth-segments linear-oblong, acute, somewhat spreading; stigma-lobes 6, linear, green; scales on the ovary ovate, acute, small, 2 to 4 mm. long, somewhat ciliate; fruit short-oblong, about 2 cm. long, somewhat edible; seeds minute, 1 mm. long, brown.

Type locality: Mexico.

Distribution: Eastern Mexico.

The numerous thin ribs of this plant, as shown in the original illustration, resemble those of some species of Echinofossulocactus, but its flowers appear to be like those of Ferocactus.

Echinocactus pfersdorffii Hortus may be referable here. It is probable that E. pfersdorffii Hildmann Catalogue (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 5: 92. 1905) is the same, but neither was accompanied by a description.

In cultivation this plant is simple, depressed-globose, 4.5 dm. in diameter, but in the wild state sometimes cylindric and up to 6 dm. high, and described as proliferous; ribs 20, perhaps even more, acute; areoles rather large, distant; radial spines usually 8, subulate, somewhat curved, 4.5 cm. long; central spines usually solitary, but as many as 4 reported, all yellow.

We have followed Schumann in referring here various synonyms, but the indications are that we have more than one species. Dr. Rose obtained flowers of this species at La Mortola in 1912 and his notes were used in drawing up the description.

Here belongs Cactus multangularis Mociño and Sessé (Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 38. 1828), but never described by them. Echinocactus electracanthus rufispinus (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 3: 70. 1893) we would also refer here.

Echinocactus hystrichacanthus Lemaire (Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 17. 1839) may be of this relationship. This species as well as E. pycnoxyphus Lemaire (Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 16. 1839) Weber considered as only varieties of E. hystrix.

Illustrations: De Candolle, Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: pl. 10, as Echinocactus melocactiformis; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 3: 158. f. 2; 21: 171; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 58, as Echinocactus electracanthus; Blühende Kakteen 1: pl. 22, as Echinocactus ingens.

Figure 146 is copied from the first illustration above cited. 22. Ferocactus macrodiscus (Martius).

Echinocactus macrodiscus Martius, Nov. Act. Nat. Cur. 16: 341. 1832.

Echinocactus macrodiscus laevior Monville in Labouret, Monogr. Cact. 197. 1853.

Echinocactus macrodiscus decolor Monville in Labouret, Monogr. Cact. 197. 1853.

Echinocactus macrodiscus multiflorus R. Meyer, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 24: 150. 1914.

Simple, depressed-globose or sometimes short-cylindric, sometimes 4.5 din, in diameter; ribs 16, perhaps more in some specimens, somewhat flattened, sometimes acute on the margin, somewhat depressed at the distant areoles; spines all yellow, more or less curved backward; radial spines 6 to 8, mostly 2 to 3 cm. long; central spines 4, stouter and flatter than the radials, 3.5 cm. long; flowers 5 cm. long, dark red to purple, obconic; inner perianth-segments linear-oblong, acute; stamens and style included.

Type locality: Not definitely cited but probably on the Cumbre at about 10,000 feet, in a place called El Renosco, Mexico.

Distribution: San Luis Potosí and southward.

We do not know this species definitely although it is supposed to have a rather wide distribution in Mexico. The only specimen which we can refer with any confidence is one obtained through Professor Conzatti in 1910 from Oaxaca, Mexico.

Fig. 146.—Ferocactus melocactiformis.

The plant illustrated in Blühende Kakteen as cited below has flowers of different color and shape, and hence is referred here with some doubt.

Schumann (Gesamtb. Kakteen 349. 1898), following Labouret, refers as a synonym of this species E. campylacanthus Scheidweiler (Allg. Gartenz. 8: 337. 1840), which is described as having 21 ribs and only one central spine. It should probably be referred elsewhere. The specimens distributed by de Laet under this name seem to be Echinopsis leucantha.

Illustrations: Nov. Act. Nat. Cur. 16: pl. 26 Blühende Kakteen 3: pl. 134; Schelle, Handb. Kakteenk. 162. f. 92; Gard. Chron. III. 50: 135. f. 64, E, as Echinocactus macrodiscus; Monats-schr. Kakteenk. 24: 151, as Echinocactus macrodiscus multiflorus.

Figure 147 is copied from the first illustration above cited.

Fig. 147.—Ferocactus macrodiscus.

23. Ferocactus viridescens (Torrey and Gray).

Echinocactus viridescens Torrey and Gray, El. N. Amer. 1: 554. 1840.

Melocactus viridescens Nuttall in Teschemacher, Bost. Journ. Nat. Hist. 5: 293. 1845.

Echinocactus limitus Engelmann in Coulter, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 3: 374. 1896.

At first nearly globose or somewhat depressed, in age becoming cylindric, 3 to 4.5 dm. high, 2.5 to 3.5 dm. in diameter, simple or cespitose, deep green, somewhat glossy; ribs 13 to 21, somewhat rounded, 1 to 2 cm. high, obtuse, undulate; areoles narrow, elliptic, 1 to 2 cm. long, spine-bearing in the lower part, felted in upper part, flower-bearing and also with several reddish glands, these becoming elongated and spinescent in age; spines at first bright red, becoming duller by age or turning yellow or horn-colored; radial spines 9 to 20, more or less spreading, 1 to 2 cm. long; central spines 4, the lower one stouter and more flattened, up to 3.5 cm. long; flowers yellowish green, 4 cm. long; perianth-segments oblong, obtuse, sometimes apiculate, more or less serrulate on the margins; flower-tube bearing stamens almost to the top of the ovary; scales on the ovary orbicular, imbricate; fruit 1.6 to 2 cm. long, reddish with a pleasant acid taste; seeds 1.6 mm. long, pitted.

Type locality: Near San Diego, California.

Distribution: California and Lower California near the International Boundary Line, not far from the sea coast and in the foothills.

Echinocactus viridescens is usually credited to Nuttall, but he referred it in manuscript to Melocactus, and Torrey and Gray, who revised and published his manuscript, referred it doubtfully to Echinocactus.

Echinocactus californicus Monville (Labouret, Monogr. Cact. 199. 1853), first grown from seed supposed to have come from California, but without definite locality, may belong here although it has been referred to other species such as F. orcutti. E. californicus Hortus is referred here by Rümpler (Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. 472. 1885).

Illustrations: Gard. Chron. II. 7: 172. f. 26; Cact. Mex. Bound. pl. 29, as Echinocactus viridescens.

Plate xiv, figure 1, shows a flowering plant sent to the New York Botanical Garden from southern California by W. T. Schaller in 1909. Figure 148 is from a photograph of plants collected by C. R. Orcutt in southern California in 1917.

Fig. 148.—Ferocactus viridescens.

Continue reading here: Ferocactus johnsonii Parry

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