Key to Species

Stems, ovary, and often the leaves more or less pubescent.

Normal leaves long-acuminate, narrow, with narrow cuneate bases 1. P. velutina

Normal leaves abruptly pointed, somewhat cuneate at base 2. P. diguetii

Stems, ovary, and leaves glabrous.

Leaves, at least some of them, not much longer than broad.

Fruit without leaves, at least so figured 3. P. opuntiaeflora

Fruit with leaves subtending the areoles. Areoles white, with few glochids or none.

Leaves orbicular or nearly so, rounded or apiculate 4. P. rotundifolia

Leaves, at least the upper ones, obovate or elliptic, acute at both ends 5. P. chapistle

Areoles dark, filled with numerous brown glochids 6. P. porteri

Leaves, at least some of them, twice as long as broad or longer.

Leaves spatulate 7. P. spathulata

Leaves elliptic to oblong, or obovate.

Leaves pale green, glaucous 8. P. pititache

Leaves bright green, shining.

Glochids few, yellow 9. P. aquosa

Glochids many, brown 10. P. kellermanii

1. Pereskiopsis velutina Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coil. 50: 333. 1907.

Stems weak and spreading, forming compact bushes 9 to 12 dm. high or sometimes higher; old stems with cherry-brown bark; young branches green, borne nearly at right angles to the old stem, velvety-pubescent; areoles bearing long white hairs and several short spines and some glochids; leaves elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 2 to 6 cm. long by 1.5 to 2.5 cm. broad, acuminate, or acute at both ends, dull green, more or less velvety-puberulent on both surfaces, when very young brighter green; flowers sessile on the second-year branches; ovary obovoid to oblong, pubescent, bearing large leaves and areoles similar to those of the stem; leaves on ovary spreading or ascending and persisting after the flower falls; flower-bud (above the ovary) 2 to 3 cm. long, acute; sepals green or deep red tinged with yellow; petals bright yellow.

Type locality: In hedges about city of Quere-taro, Mexico.

Distribution: Table-lands of central Mexico.

This plant is called by the natives nopaleta and cola de diablo.

Illustration: Smiths. Misc. Coll. 50: pl. 44.

Figure 21 is from a photograph of type plant.

2. Pereskiopsis diguetii (Weber) Britton and Rose,

Opuntia diguetii Weber, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 166.


Tall shrub, larger than the preceding species; old stems reddish; branches pubescent; areoles when young filled with long, white, cobwebby hairs, when old large and filled with short black wool; leaves elliptic to obovate, 3 to 5 cm. long, usually abruptly pointed, more or less cuneate at the base; spines usually 1, rarely as many as 4, at first nearly black, in time becoming lighter, sometimes nearly 7 cm. long; glochids brownish, not very abundant; flowers yellow; fruit 3 cm. long, red, pubescent, its areoles often bearing spines as well as glochids; seeds white, 5 mm. broad, covered with matted hairs.

Type locality: Near Guadalajara, Mexico.

Distribution: Central Mexico.

Common in hedges near Guadalajara and Oaxaca, Mexico. According to W. E. Safford, it is known in Guadalajara as tasajillo and alfilerillo.

Figure 22 represents a leafy branch of a plant collected by W. E. Safford in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1907.

3. Pereskiopsis opuntiaeflora (De Candolle) Britton and

Pereskia opuntiaeflora De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 475. 1828.

Opuntia golziana Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 654. 1898.

Shrubby, glabrous; leaves obovate, mucronate, often in pairs; spines, when present, solitary, elongated, 2 to 3 times as long as the leaves; flowers subterminal, short-pedunculate; petals numerous, ovate, subacute, reddish yellow, arranged in two series; ovary leafless, bearing areoles filled with glochids.

Type locality: In Mexico.

Distribution: Known only from the original description.

This description is drawn from De Candolle's original description and illustration; otherwise nothing is known of the plant.

This species, as illustrated by De Candolle, is unlike anything we know. In its pedunculate fruit it is like Pereskia, but its leafless ovary and its areoles filled with glochids would exclude it from that genus. In a general way the illustration looks more like a Pereskiopsis, and we suspect that the delineation is incorrect or that the leaves had fallen away from the specimen drawn.

Fig. 21.—Pereskiopsis velutina.

Cactus opuntiaeflorus Mocino and Sesse (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 178. 1837) was published as a synonym of Pereskia opuntiaeflora.

Illustrations: Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. f. 137 Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: pl. 19, both as Pereskia opuntiaeflora.

Figure 23 is copied from the second illustration above cited.

4. Pereskiopsis rotundifolia (De Candolle) Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coil. 50: 333. 1907.

Pereskia rotundifolia De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 475. 1828. Opuntia rotundifolia Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 652. 1898.

Stem thick, more or less woody; branches slender, glabrous; leaves nearly orbicular, mucronate; spines elongated, solitary; flowers 3 cm. broad, borne on the second-year branches; petals reddish yellow, broad, with mucronate tips; ovary leafy; fruit obovoid, red, leafy.

Type locality: In Mexico.

Distribution: Known only from the original description and, apparently, from Oaxaca. Cactus frutescens Mocino and Sessé (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 178. 1837) and Cactus rotundifolia Mocino and Sessé (De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 475. 1828) were given as synonyms of Pereskia rotundifolia, but were never published.

Illustrations: Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: pl. 20, as Pereskia rotundifolia; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 99, as Opuntia rotundifolia.

Figure 24 is copied from the first illustration above cited; figure 25 is from a photograph taken by Dr. MacDougal at Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1906.

5. Pereskiopsis chapistle (Weber) Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 50: 331. 1907.

A large, branching shrub, sometimes 3 to 4 meters high, the branches widely spreading, glabrous; spines single, white, long (6 cm. long), very stout; leaves fleshy, somewhat persistent, obovate to elliptic, sometimes nearly orbicular, 3 to 4 cm. long, glabrous; flowers yellow; fruit red.

Type locality: In Oaxaca.

Distribution: Oaxaca and perhaps Morelos, Mexico.

Illustration: Bull. Soc. Nat. Acclim. France 52: f. 10, as Opuntia chapistle.

Plate 111, figure 2, represents a leafy branch of a plant collected by Dr. Rose at Cu-ernavaca, Mexico, in 1906.

Pereskiopsis Porteri
Fig. 22.—Pereskiopsis diguetii. X0.5.

Fig. 23.—Pereskiopsis opuntiae flora. X0.5.

Fig. 24.—Pereskiopsis rotundifolia. x0.5.

Opuntia chapistle Weber in Gosselin, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 10: 388. 1904.

Fig. 25.—Pereskiopsis, apparently P. rotundifolia, with other cacti in the background.

6. Pereskiopsis porteri (Brandegee) Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 50: 332. 1907.

Opuntiaporteri Brandegee in Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 899. 1898.

Opuntia brandegeei Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 653. 1898.

Pereskiopsis brandegeei Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 50: 331. 1907.

Stems stout, woody, branching, 6 to 12 dm. high, 3 cm. in diameter, the old areoles bearing 3 to 8 stout spines 3 to 5 cm. long, but on the trunk often 15 to 20 spines from an areole; first and second year branches usually short, spineless, or with 1 or 2 brown spines, those of the first year green, the second-year brownish; areoles bearing numerous small, brown glochids; leaves sessile, 2 to 3 cm. long, obovate, acute, fleshy, in greenhouse specimens sometimes much narrower; flowers about 4 cm. in diameter; sepals few, spatulate, short; petals few, yellow, broad, entire; fruit joint-like, oblong, 4 to 5 cm. long, orange-colored, with large areoles bearing brown glochids; seeds I or few, covered with white deciduous hairs.

Type locality: In Sinaloa, Mexico.

Distribution: Common in the Cape region of Lower California and in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico.

Figure 26 shows a leafy twig of a plant sent in 1904 from the Missouri Botanical Garden to the New York Botanical Garden as Opuntia brandegeei, which had been received by the Missouri Botanical Garden from Mrs. Katharine Brandegee in 1901.

7. Pereskiopsis spathulata (Otto) Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coll.

Pereskia spathulata Otto in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 176. 1837.

Opuntia spathulata Weber, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 165. 1898.

Fig. 26.—Pereskiopsis porteri. X0.66.

Branching shrub, 1 to 2 meters high; branches few, glaucescent, deflexed; leaves spatulate, thick, green, 2.5 to 5 cm. long; areoles distant, woolly, hairy when young; spines 1 or 2, rigid, white below, 2.5 cm. long; glochids brown, borne in the upper part of the areoles; flowers red; seeds white.

Type locality: In Mexico.

Distribution: Probably southern Mexico, but no definite locality is known.

There is some confusion in the literature of this species; Schumann describes it as pubescent, while in the original description nothing is said about pubescence; this error is probably due to a misidentification, for Dr. Rose found in the Museum of Paris two specimens collected by Diguet at Guadalajara, Mexico, which were labeled Opuntia spathulata, and which have pubescent branches and leaves; these are undoubtedly O. diguetii.

Pereskia crassicaulis Zuccarini (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 176. 1837) was never published, simply being given as a synonym of P. spathulata.

8. Pereskiopsis pititache (Karwinsky) Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coil. 50: 332. 1907.

Pereskia pititache Karwinsky in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 176. 1837.

Pereskia calandriniaefolia Link and Otto in Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 252. 1850. (According to Schumann.)

Opuntia pititache Weber, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 166. 1898.

Stems rather low and somewhat branching; bark light brownish and flaking off; areoles on main trunk each bearing 1 to 4 slender acicular spines and a small cluster of yellowish glochids; branches, even when several years old, bearing a single long, acicular spine from an areole and no glochids; young and growing branches rather slender and green, their areoles small, black in the center, with long, white hairs from their margins and no spines; leaves obovate or oblong-obovate, 4 cm. long or less, pale green, thin, acute or bluntish at the apex, narrowed at the base.

Type locality: In Mexico.

Distribution: Uncertain, but reported from southern Mexico.

In the original description this species is said to have a very spiny, erect woody trunk, the branches spreading nearly horizontally, the spines unequal, 3 to 6, 25 to 37 mm. long, the leaves fleshy, green, lanceolate to ovate, 37 mm. long, 16 mm. broad. It was named by Baron Wilhelm von Karwinsky and probably collected by him in Mexico, but no definite locality was given; Weber states it is from Tehuantepec, while Schumann gives Tehuacan on a statement of Weber.

Pereskia calandriniaefolia we have referred here, following Schumann, but the original description is somewhat different from that of P. pititache, the leaves being described as spatulate to lanceolate, strongly narrowed below, 7.5 cm. long.

Our description is mostly drawn from specimens growing in the New York Botanical Garden obtained from M. Simon, of St. Ouen, Paris, in 1901.

Illustrations: Abh. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. München 2: pl. 1, sec. 6, f. 1, 2; pl. 2, f. 9, both as Pereskia pititache.

Plate 111, figure 3, represents a leafy shoot of a plant sent by M. Simon, of St. Ouen, Paris, France, to the New York Botanical Garden in 1901.

9. Pereskiopsis aquosa (Weber) Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc.

Opuntia aquosa Weber, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 165. 1898

Shrub, with glabrous, glaucous, green branches, the young shoots with long white hairs at the areoles; leaves bright green, nearly elliptic, acute, about twice as long as wide, narrowed at the base, glabrous; spines usually solitary, standing at right angles to the stem, white; glochids few, yellow; flowers yellow; outer petals blotched with red; fruit pear-shaped, 4 to 5 cm. long, 2 Fig. 27.—Pereskiopsis aquosa. to 2.5 cm. in diameter, yellowish green.

Type locality: Guadalajara, Mexico.

Distribution: In hedges about Guadalajara, Mexico.

The fruit, called in Mexico tuna de agua and tasajillo, is used in making a cooling drink and for preserves.

Opuntia spathulata aquosa (Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 165. 1898) was given as a synonym of this species, but was never published.

Illustration: Safford, Ann. Rep. Smiths. Inst. 1908: pl. 10, f. 2.

Figure 27 represents a leafy shoot of the plant collected by W. E. Safford near Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1907.

10. Pereskiopsis kellermanii Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 50: 332. 1907.

Stem glabrous, herbaceous, weak, and clambering over shrubs to a length of to 5 meters, about 2 cm. in diameter; second-year branches usually at right angles to main stem, with cherry-red bark; old stem bearing several slender, acicular brown spines, sometimes only 1, sometimes wanting, and numerous brown glochids; young branches green, fleshy, their areoles circular, white, filled with long white hairs, brown glochids, and often with several acicular brown spines; spines on wild plants often stout, usually solitary, nearly black, 2 to 3 cm. long; leaves various, shining green, glabrous, thickish, elliptic and two or three times as long as wide, or suborbicular, acute at the apex, narrowed at the base, 5 cm. long or less, 2 to 2.5 cm. broad; flowers not known; fruit red, glabrous, leafy, 3 to 6 cm. long, bearing large areoles filled with brown glochids; seeds covered with matted hairs.

™ 7 t • 1 • fi 1 Figs 28, 29, and 30.—Pereskiopsis keller

Type locality: Irap^l:^ Guatemala. manii, showing three leaf forms. X0.5.

Distribution: Guatemala.

Figures 28, 29, and 30 are copied from sketches of the leaf-forms of the type plant, made by W. A. Kellerman in Guatemala in 1908.

2. PTEROCACTUS Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 7: 6. 1897.

Stems low, more or less branched above, cylindric, from tuber-like and often greatly enlarged roots; leaves minute, caducous; spines weak, several or many at each areole; glochids small, caducous as in Opuntia; flower terminal, regular, without tube; perianth-segments several, erect; filaments and pistil shorter than the petals; ovary nearly turgid, bearing numerous small clusters of spines; fruit dry, capsular, dehiscent; seeds winged, white; embryo curved.

Type species: Pterocactus kuntzei Schumann.

Four species have already been described, but three of these we have combined and the fourth is referred to Opuntia. Three additional species, however, are here described. The generic name refers to the winged seeds.

This is a remarkable genus, and it is surprising that it remained unrecognized so long, for one of its species was known as long ago as 1837; the fruit and seeds, however, seem not to have been known until about 1897. In habit the plants are nearest some of the anomalous species of Opuntia, having large roots and short, weak stems like Opuntia chaffeyi, of Mexico; the seeds, however, differ, not only from those of Opuntia, but from those of all other cactus genera, in being winged. The fruit, according to Schumann, although we have not been able to confirm his observation definitely, is a capsule with an operculum. Another peculiarity is that the fruit is borne in the end of the stem or branch.

While this genus has good characters, it is no more distinct than many others and does not deserve the relative importance given to it by T. von Post and Otto Kuntze in Lexicon Generum Phanerogamarum, who treat it as one of the only three cactus genera to be conserved, in their view.

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