Opuntia Skottsbergii

Spines yellow, stout

Spines white, acicular

56. Opuntia floccosa Salm-Dyck, Allg. Gartenz. 13: 388. 1845.

Opuntia senilis Roezl in Morren, Belg. Hort. 24: 39. 1874. Opuntia floccosa denudata Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 897. 1898. Opuntia hempeliana Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 690. 1898.

Plant growing in clumps or low mounds sometimes 1 to 2 meters in diameter, with hundreds of short, erect branches; joints oblong, 5 to 10 cm. long, usually hidden under a mass of long white hairs coming from the areoles; spines usually one from an areole, sometimes as many as three, yellow, 1 to 3 cm. long; leaves minute, green or pinkish; tubercles somewhat elevated, elongated; flowers, small, 3 cm. long, yellow; fruit globular, 3 cm. in diameter: seeds 4 mm. in diameter, with very narrow margins.

56. O. floccosa

57. O. lagopus

Fig. 101.—Opuntia floccosa.

Type locality: Said to be from vicinity of Lima, Peru, but doubtless only from the high mountains east of Lima.

Distribution: High mountain valleys and hills of the Andes from central Peru to central Bolivia.

O. floccosa is one of the most unusual and striking species of all the opuntias. One who is familiar only with the opuntias of North America would not suspect that it belongs to the genus. It does not grow on the hot mesas in the low country, as one would expect, but in the high, cold valleys and hills near the top of the Andes. The following paragraph, taken from John Ball's notes, is interesting in this connection:

Reserving some remarks on the botany of this excursion, there is yet to be mentioned here one plant of the upper region so singular that it must attract the notice of every traveler. As we ascended from Casapalta we noticed patches of white, which from a distance looked like snow.

Seen nearer at hand, they had the appearance of large, rounded, flattened cushions, some five or six feet in diameter, and a foot high, covered with dense masses of floss silk that glistened with a silvery lustre. The unwary stranger who should be tempted to use one of these for a seat would suffer from the experiment. The plant is of the cactus family, and the silky covering conceals a host of long, slender, needle-like spines, that penetrate the flesh, easily break, and are most difficult to extract. Unfortunately, the living specimen which I sent to Kew did not survive the journey.

Dr. Rose found the plant very abundant in the Andes from 3,600 to 4,260 meters altitude, while others have reported it as high as 4,570 meters altitude. It is very common, forming everywhere great, conspicuous, usually white mounds. Dr. Rose also found it quite common between Cuzco and Juliaca, in southwestern Peru.

Mr. 0. F. Cook, in the Journal of Heredity (8: 113. 1917), who has named this plant the polar bear cactus, wrote of it as follows:

Many exposed slopes on the bleak plateaus of the high Andes are dotted with clumps of pure white cacti that look from a distance like small masses of snow. On closer view, the shaggy white hair of these cacti make them appear like small sheep or poodle-dogs, or like reduced caricatures of the denizens of the arctic regions. We are so accustomed to think of cacti primarily as desert plants, peculiarly adapted to hot, dry deserts, that they seem distinctly out of place on the cold plateaus of the high Andes of southern Peru.

While most of the plants are covered with long white hairs, plants without hairs are not uncommon. These naked plants, which are characteristic of the whole clump or colony, appear at first sight very unlike the other forms, but they grow in the same region and have the same kind of flowers and fruits. In cultivated plants few hairs are developed. The variety denudata Weber seems to be only one of these naked forms.

Opuntia involuta Otto (Förster, Handb. Cact. 505. 1846) was not published, but was given as a synonym of this species. It was used the year before (Salm-Dyck, Allg. Gartenz. 13: 388. 1845) as a synonym of O. vestita.

Illustrations: Engler and Drude, Veg. Erde 12: pl. 14; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 11: 41, 44, these last two as Opuntia hempeliana; Journ. Heredity 8: f. 3 to 8.

Plate xiii, figure 2, is from a photograph taken by Mr. O. F. Cook in the high mountains of eastern Peru. Figure 101 is from a photograph of a fragment of the plant collected by Dr. Rose in 1914, at Araranca, Peru.

57. Opuntia lagopus Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen Nachtr. 151. 1903.

Plants cespitose, growing in compact mounds; joints stout, cylindric, 10 cm. long, 3 to 3.5 cm. in diameter, densely covered with long white hairs; leaves minute, hidden under the wool, 7 mm. long; spines solitary, white, 2 cm. long, slender; glochids white, bristle-like; flowers probably red; fruit not known.

Type locality: Mountains of Bolivia above Arequipa, Peru.

Distribution: On the plains of the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia (altitude 4,000 meters).

This species is related to O. floccosa, with which it often grows, but it takes on a very different habit, growing in very dense, peculiar rounded mounds much higher than those formed by O. floccosa.

Illustration: Engler and Drude, Veg. Erde 12: pl. 14.

Figure 102 is from a photograph by H. L. Tucker, near Laxsa, Peru, in 1911.

Plants low, composed of globose or oblong joints, the spines, or some of them, modified into flat papery processes. We recognize two species, confined to western Argentina.


Key to Species.

Central spines papery; radial spines subulate

Spines, when present, all developed into long papery processes

58. O. australis

59. O. glomerata

102.—Opuntia lagopus, growing in a mound.

58. Opuntia australis Weber, Diet. Hort. Bois

896. 1898.

Pterocactus valentinii Spegazzini, Anal. Soc.

Cient. Argentina 48: 51. 1899.

102.—Opuntia lagopus, growing in a mound.

58. Opuntia australis Weber, Diet. Hort. Bois

896. 1898.

Pterocactus valentinii Spegazzini, Anal. Soc.

Cient. Argentina 48: 51. 1899.

Plants often with large roots, these 5 to 8 cm. long by 2 to 3 cm. in diameter and larger than the parts above ground; joints described as cucumber-shaped, usually 6 to 8 cm. long by 1 to 2 cm. in diameter, but apparently often much smaller, tuberculate; radial spines 10 to 15, spreading, white, short, 3 to 4 cm. long; central spines 1 or 2, much longer than the radials, 2 cm. long, erect, flattened, and somewhat papery; flowers yellow, 2 to 3 cm. broad; seeds said to be rugose.

Type locality: Between Santa Cruz River and the Strait of Magellan, Argentina.

Distribution: The southernmost parts of Argentina.

We have recently examined three collections of this plant made by Carl Skotts-berg in the Territory of Santa Cruz, which in the main agree with Weber's description. We have also seen Pterocactus valentinii, which is the same as Skottsberg's plant.

Dr. Spegazzini records this species as being in Santa Cruz, Argentina; but as he regards the plant collected there by him as only a variety of O. darwinii, we are inclined to believe he must have collected something else.

This species, which is found at the Strait of Magellan, extends farther south than any other cactus known to us.

IG. 103

-Opuntia australis. Showing large roots, joints, and flower. Natural size.

IG. 103

-Opuntia australis. Showing large roots, joints, and flower. Natural size.

Figure 103 is from a photograph of an herbarium specimen collected by Carl Skottsberg in the Territory of Santa Cruz, Patagonia, in 1908. 59. Opuntia glomerata Haworth, Phil. Mag. 7: 111. 1830.

Opuntia articulata Otto, Allg. Gartenz. 1: 116. 1833.

Cereus articulatus Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 103. 1837.

Cereus syringacanthus Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 103. 1837.

Opuntiaplatyacantha Salm-Dyck in Pfeiffer, Allg. Gartenz. 5: 371. 1837.

Opuntia tuberosa spinosa Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 146. 1837.

Opuntia andicola Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 145. 1837.

Opuntia diademata Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 36. 1838.

Opuntia turpinii Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 36. 1838.

Opuntia andicola elongata Lemaire, Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 72. 1839.

Opuntia andicola fulvispina Lemaire, Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 72. 1839.

Opuntia andicola major Lemaire, Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 72. 1839.

Opuntia calva Lemaire, Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 73. 1839.

Opuntia platyacantha gracilior Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 43. 1845.

Opuntia platyacantha monvillei Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 71. 1850.

Opuntia platyacantha deflexispina Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 245. 1850.

Opuntiapapyracantha Philippi, Gartenflora 21: 129. 1872.

Opuntia syringacantha Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 6: 156. 1896.

Opuntiaplumosa nivea Walton, Cact. Journ. 1: 105. 1898.

Forming low, spreading clumps, the branches either erect or prostrate; joints globular, 3 to 6 cm. in diameter, often in cultivated specimens even smaller, dull grayish brown, hardly tuberculate except in drying; areoles large, bearing numerous long, brown glochids; spines often wanting, when present 1 to 3, long, weak, thin and papery, hardly pungent, either white or brownish, sometimes 10 cm. long; flowers light yellow, small; fruit globose, 1 to i.s cm. long, dry; seeds corky.

Type locality: Brazil, according to Haworth, but erroneously.

Distribution: Western Argentina. It has also been referred to Brazil and Chile, but surely not found in Brazil, and we should not expect it to inhabit Chile.

The plant figured by Nicholson (Dict. Gard. 2: f. 755) as O. platyacantha hardly belongs here.

O. glomerata, which is common on the dry hills about Mendoza, is very variable, especially as to whether it is spine-bearing or not; while the spines—which are really not spines but thin ribbon-like processes—vary much as to their color, markings, and length. These variations are partly the cause of so many synonyms for the species. Dr. Rose, who visited the region in which this species grows, found wide variation in the size of the joints, as well as in the absence or presence of spines.

Tephrocactus diadematus Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868), T. turpinii Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868), Opuntia polymorpha Pfeiffer (Enum. Cact. 103. 1837), and Opuntia turpinii polymorpha Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 71. 1850) are usually given as synonyms of Opuntia diademata, but none of them was actually published. Opuntia polymorpha Pfeiffer was used by Pfeiffer as a synonym for Cereus articulatus Pfeiffer.

Tephrocactus andicolus, T. calvus, and T. platyacanthus, all of Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868), without descriptions, are referred here by inference.

Spegazzini (Anal. Mus. Nac. Buenos Aires III. 4: 511. 1905) describes three varieties of this species under O. diademata, from Argentina, as follows: inermis, oligacantha, and polyacantha; while Weber (Dict. Hort. Bois 896. 1898) under the same name describes var. calva, but these all seem to be forms of this very variable species.

Fig. 104.—Opuntia glomerata X0.5

The following varietal names, under Opuntia glomerata var. albispina Förster (Handb. Cact. 472. 1846), var. flavispina Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 43. 1845), and var. minor Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 71. 1850), are mentioned in the places cited, but not described.

Opuntia horizontalis Gillies (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 145. 1837) was used as a synonym of Opuntia andicola, and should be referred here.

Opuntia pelaguensis (Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 71. 1850) was published as a synonym of Opuntia platyacantha deflexispina.

Opuntia andicola minor, an unpublished variety, is mentioned by name only in Monatsschrift für Kakteenkunde (10: 48. 1900).

Illustrations: Cact. Journ. 1: 100, as Opuntia andicola: Engler and Prantl, Pflanz-enfam. 36a: f. 56, K.; Gard. Chron. III. 34: f. 39; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 13: 23, these three as Opuntia diademata. Cact. Journ. 1: February; Dict. Gard. Nicholson Suppl. f. 607; Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. f. 125; Gard. Chron. III. 23: f. 129; 29: f. 63; Gartenflora 21: pl. 721, f. 2, all as Opuntia papyracantha; Cact. Journ. 1: 105, as Opuntia plumosa nivea.

Figure 104 represents a plant collected by Dr. Rose at Mendoza, Argentina, in 1915.

Opuntia schumannii Spegazzini (Anal. Mus. Nac. Buenos Aires III. 4: 511. 1905, not Berger, 1904) is a homonym, and we hesitate to give it a new name until it is better known. The type comes from Salta, Argentina, from a region where we already have a number of species of Tephrocactus. Spegazzini, who described it, says it is related to O. diademata, which is now referred to O. glomerata, but is very distinct. It is without spines and the flowers are unknown.


Plants often growing in large mounds; joints globular to oblong; spines usually slender, acicular to subulate. Seventeen species are here recognized.

Key to Species.

Spines very long and stout, up to 15 to 20 cm. long 60. O. aoracantha

Spines slender, 10 cm. long or less. Spines appressed to the joints.

Spines 12 to 20, flexuous; joints 7 cm. long 61. O. rauppiana

Spines 6 or 7; joints 2 to 4 cm. long 62. O. subterranea

Spines straight, not appressed. Spines flat or semiterete.

Spines 7 to 10 cm. long 63. O. hickenii

Spines 6 cm. long or less. Longer spines 1 to 3.

Joints ellipsoid, 4 to 5 cm. thick 64. O. darwinii

Joints oblong, 1 cm. thick 65. O. tarapacana

Longer spines 4 or 5.

Spines gray 66. O. atacamensis

Spines yellow 67. O. russellii

Spines terete.

Spines white, at least when young.

Joints tuberculate 68. O. corrugata

Joints not tuberculate.

Joints oblong 69. O. ovata

Joints globose 70. O. sphaerica

Spines yellow to brown or nearly black.

Roots large and woody; spines nearly black 71. O. skottsbergii

Roots fibrous.

Spines purple-black 72. O. nigrispina

Spines yellow to brown.

Plants forming large clumps.

Fruit about 2.5 cm. long, nearly unarmed 73. O. pentlandii

Fruit 5 to 6 cm. long, copiously armed with long spines above 74. O. ignescens

Plants isolated, not forming clumps.

Old joints globose; spines acicular 75. O. campestris

Joints all oblong; spines subulate 76. O. ignota

60. Opuntia aoracantha Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 34. 1838.

Cereus ovatus Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 102 1837. Not Opuntia ovata Pfeiffer, l. c. 144. 1837.

Opuntia formidabilis Walton, Cact. Journ. 1: 105. 1898.

Usually low, cespitose, forming clumps 2 to 5 dm. in diameter and sometimes 1 to 2 dm. high; branches grayish, either erect or prostrate, made up of 5 to 10, perhaps even more, globular joints; joints easily detached, freely rooting and starting new colonies, 5 to 8 cm. in diameter, strongly tuberculate especially when young, the lower part spineless, the upper areoles large, spine-bearing; spines brown or blackish, 1 to 7, the longer ones 13 cm. long, straight, a little flattened, roughish to the touch; flowers white; fruit short-oblong, 3 cm. long, red, weakly tuberculate, bearing numerous areoles, usually naked but sometimes bearing a few short spines near the top, becoming dry; umbilicus of fruit broad and depressed; seeds white, flattened, to 5 mm. broad, the margins thick and corky.

Fig. 105.—Opuntia aoracantha. X0.66.

Type locality: Not cited, but doubtless from Mendoza.

Distribution: Western provinces of Argentina, from Mendoza to Jujuy.

Opuntia gilliesii Pfeiffer (Enum. Cact. 102. 1837, as synonym) and Tephrocactus aoracanthus Lemaire (Cact. 89. 1868) are usually given as synonyms of this species, but they were not described in the places usually cited, and as here given. Opuntia acracantha Walpers (Repert. Bot. 2: 354. 1843) is a typographical error.

O. aoracantha, although described nearly 80 years ago, is practically unknown in collections and has been very poorly described. The fruit has heretofore been unknown. Dr. Rose found it in 1915, great abundance growing on dry, rocky hills west of Mendoza, although in but one locality. A bountiful supply of living material was sent home, several photographs were taken, and fruit and seeds obtained.

Opuntia tuberiformis Philippi (Anal. Mus. Nac. Chile 18912: 28. 1891), referred here by Schumann, doubtless belongs elsewhere. It may possibly belong to some Platyopuntia, for it is described as having ovate joints only 5 mm. thick. It comes from the foot of the Andes in the Province of Tarapaca, Chile.

Illustrations: Gard. Chron. III. 34: f. 40; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 12: 172; Cact. Journ. 1: 105, the last as O. formidabilis.

Figure 105 represents a joint of a plant collected by Dr. Rose at Mendoza, Argentina, in 1915.

61. Opuntia rauppiana Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 9: 118.


Joints ellipsoid, rounded at each end, somewhat tuberculate, dark green or becoming grayish green, 7 cm. long by 4 cm. in greatest diameter; glochids yellow, 5 cm. long; spines 12 to 14, sometimes as many as 20, very weak, almost bristle-like, 2 cm. long, hardly pungent.

Type locality: In the Andes.

Distribution: Bolivia, according to Schumann.

Little is known of the habit of this plant, as only one joint is figured and this appears to be a sickly greenhouse specimen. It suggests some of the species which grow in large clumps like the one figured as Opuntia grata by Fries.

Illustrations: Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 9: 118; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen Nachtr. f. 36 (same).

Figure 106 is copied from the illustration above cited.

62. Opuntia subterranea R. E. Fries, Nov. Act. Soc. Sci. Upsal. IV. 11: 122. 1905.

Almost buried in the sand, simple or few-branched from a thick root 7 to 12 cm. deep; joints terete, 2 to 4 cm. long; tubercles low; spines 1 to 7, all radial, short, whitish, recurved,

Fig. 106.—Opuntia rauppiana.

Fig. 107.—Opuntia subterranea

Fig. 107.—Opuntia subterranea

appressed; flowers lateral, brownish; ovary small, with a depressed umbilicus, its areoles bearing small glochids and a little wool; fruit 12 to 15 mm. long; seeds 3 mm. broad, irregular.

Type locality: Near Moreno, Jujuy, Argentina.

Distribution: Northern Argentina and adjacent Bolivia.

This peculiar little plant, heretofore known only from the type collection, was obtained by Dr. Shafer on stony plains at Villazón, Bolivia, in February 1917, but was not in bloom.

Illustration: Nov. Act. Soc. Sci. Upsal. IV. 11: pl. 8, f. 4 to 8.

Figure 107 is copied from the illustration above cited.

63. Opuntia hickenii sp. nov.

Low, cespitose, forming clusters 1 meter in diameter; joints globular, 3 to 5 cm. in diameter, strongly tuberculate, the lower tubercles usually spineless; areoles rather large, circular; spines 2 to 5, flat and thin, narrow, weak, pungent, 5 to 12 cm. long, silvery-colored but nearly black in age; flowers yellow; fruit not known.

Type in United States National Herbarium, No. 603229, from Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina, collected by Cristóbal M. Hicken.

Common in Chubut and Rio Negro, southern Argentina, where it was collected several times by Dr. Hicken.

Figure 108 represents the type specimen above cited.

A photograph of a plant from San Juan, Argentina, communicated by Dr. Spegazzini, indicates another species of this relationship.

64. Opuntia darwinii Henslow, Mag. Zool. Bot. 1: 466. 1837.

Low, perhaps not more than 2 to 4 cm. high, much branched at base from a more or less elongated woody root; joints normally few, nearly globular, about 3 cm. in diameter, or often nearly cylindric, frequently numerous and small and growing out from the main axis, then only 5 to 10 mm. in diameter; areoles large, filled with wool, the lower ones spineless; spines 1 to 3, nearly erect, the longest one 3 to 3.5 cm. long, yellow or reddish yellow, decidedly flattened; flowers originally described as larger than the joints, but certainly often much smaller; petals yellow, broad, with a truncate or depressed top and usually with a mucronate tip; ovary, in specimens seen, only 2 cm. long, covered with large woolly areoles; styles described as stout, with 9 thick radiating stigma-lobes.

Type locality: Port Desire, Patagonia, latitude 47° south.

Distribution: Southern Argentina.

This species seems to be common in that part of Patagonia known now as the Territory of Santa Cruz, Argentina. We have recently examined four separate collections made in this region, especially one from about Lake Buenos Aires and on the Fenix River by Carl Skottsberg, in 1907-1909.

The plant is in cultivation in Europe and is offered for sale by cactus dealers.

It was first collected by Charles Darwin, but only a single joint was taken, which was described and figured by Rev. J.. S. Henslow. The illustration of the flowers seems too large, but otherwise represents fairly well the plant as we know it. The following interesting note is taken from Mr. Henslow's article as it appeared in the Magazine of Zoology and Botany, volume 1, page 467:

I have named this interesting Cactus after my friend C. Darwin, Esq., who has recently returned to England, after a five years' absence on board H. M. S. Beagle, whilst she was employed in surveying the southernmost parts of South America. The specimen figured was gathered in the month of January, at Port Desire, lat. 47° S. in Patagonia. He recollects also to have seen the same plant in flower as far south as Port St. Julian in lat. 49° S. It is a small species growing close to the ground on arid gravelly plains, at no great distance from the sea. The flowers had one day arrested his attention by the great irritability which their stamens manifested upon his inserting a piece of straw into the tube, when they immediately collapsed round the pistil, and the segments of the perianth soon after closed also. He had intended to procure fresh specimens on the following day, and returned to the ship with the one now figured, but unfortunately she sailed immediately afterwards, and he was prevented from obtaining any more. The geographical position of this species is beyond the limits hitherto assigned to any of the order, which are not recorded as growing much south of the tropic of Capricorn. The climate is remarkably dry and clear, hot in summer, but with sharp frosts during the winter nights. He found Cacti both abundant and of a large size, a little farther to the north at Rio-Negro in latitude 410 S.

Figure 109 is copied from a photograph of an herbarium specimen collected by Carl Skottsberg in Patagonia in 1908.

65. Opuntia tarapacana Philippi, Anal. Mus. Nac. Chile 18912: 27. 1891.

Opuntia rahmeri Philippi, Anal. Mus. Nac. Chile 18912: 27. 1891.

Low, cespitose plants; joints small, ovoid, about 2 cm. long by 1 cm. thick, bearing spines from white woolly areoles at tips; spines usually 3, straight, 12 to 15 mm. long, white with yellowish tips; flowers yellow; petals 21 mm. long; ovary elongated, 2 cm. long.

Type locality: Calalaste, Chile.

Distribution: Known only from type locality, although Schumann in his Keys refers this species to Bolivia.

Although the type of this species is preserved in the Museum at Santiago, Chile, it is insufficient to enable us to give a very full description. It seems distinct from the other species of the group.

species of the group.

Fig. 109.—O. darwinii. X0.6.

66. Opuntia atacamensis Philippi, Fl. Atac. 24. i860.

? Pereskia glomerata Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 179. 1837. Not Opuntia glomerata Haworth. 1830.

Growing in large, dense clusters sometimes 6 dm. broad and 3 dm. high; joints ovoid, 2.5 cm. long by 2 cm. in diameter; areoles in 5 to 7 series, the lower ones with wool and very short spines; upper areoles each bearing i erect central spine i8 to 25 mm. long, yellow or reddish; radial spines 2 to 4, strongly appressed, 2 mm. long; flowers yellow.

Type locality: Profetas, Chile; also Puquios, 23° 50' south latitude.

Distribution: On the high central deserts of northern Chile at an altitude of 2,700 to 3,300 meters.

We have not seen the type of this species, and our reference of Pereskia glomerata here may not be correct.

Illustration: Nov. Act. Soc. Set. Upsal. IV. 11: pl. 1, as Opuntia grata.

Figure 110 represents a plant obtained by Dr. Rose at the Botanical Garden, Santiago, Chile, in 1914.

67. Opuntia russellii sp. nov.

Forming small, compact clumps i to 2 dm. in diameter; joints small, globular to obovoid, dull green to more or less purplish, 2 to 4 cm. long, very spiny near the top; leaves minute, acute, soon falling; prominent spines 3 to 6, yellow, 2 to 3 cm. long, slightly flattened; accessory spines 1 to several, 1 cm. long or less; glochids at first inconspicuous, but in time very abundant, sometimes 2 cm. long, somewhat persistent; flowers not known; fruit globular, 2 to 2.5 cm. in diameter, spineless; seeds pale, 4 mm. broad.

Collected by J. N. Rose and Paul G. Russell on the dry hills at Potrerillos, Mendoza, Argentina, September 2, 1915 (No. 21002).

This is a common species in the foothills of the Andes, in the Province of Mendoza, where it forms low mounds along with other cacti.

Figure 111 represents joints of the type specimen above cited.

68. Opuntia corrugata Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 360. 1834.

Opuntia eburnea Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 35. 1838.

Opuntia retrospinosa Lemaire, Cact. Aliq. Nov. 35. 1838.

Opuntia armentieri Pfeiffer, Allg. Gartenz. 6: 276. 1838.

More or less cespitose; joints 3.5 cm. long, 8 to 12 mm. in diameter, orbicular to cylindric, often erect, attenuate at both ends, light green, the terminal one often flattened; glochids minute, yellowish; spines 6 to 8, acicular, 8 to 12 mm. long, white; flowers reddish; fruit red.

Type locality: None given.

Distribution: Northwestern Argentina, according to later writers.

Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868) uses the names Cactus corrugatus and C. eburneus, both of which Schumann refers here.

Tephrocactus retrospinosus Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868) is placed by Lemaire in his third section of Tephrocactus, but it is without description. It is doubtless the same as Opuntia retrospinosa Lemaire, which belongs here.

Opuntia aulacothele Weber (Gosselin, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 10: 392. 1904), which was described without flowers or fruit, may be of this alliance. It comes from San Rafael, Argentina.

Opuntia cornigata, mentioned in Bailey's Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture (4: 2367. 1916), is a misspelling of this name.

Opuntia corrugata monvillei Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 72. 1850) was not described.

Opuntia longispina Haworth (Phil. Mag. 7: 111. 11830), when first described, was supposed to have come from Brazil; the Index Kewensis refers it to Chile; while Schumann treats it in a note under O. corrugata as an Argentine species. It may not be an but a Maihuenia.

69. Opuntia ovata Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 144. 1837.

Opuntia ovallei Remy in Gay, Fl. Chilena 3: 29. 1847.

Opuntia grata Philippi, Linnaea 30: 211. 1859.

Opuntia montkola Philippi, Linnaea 33: 82. 1864.

Low, branching, cespitose plants; joints yellowish green, some deep purple when young, subcylindric to ellipsoid, 3 cm. long; spines 5 to 9, 4 to 10 mm. long, when young brownish, in age white; fruit ovoid; umbilicus curved outward.

Type locality: Mendoza, Argentina. Fjg. ii2.-Opuntia ovata. xo,,

Distribution: Mountains of Argentina and Chile.

Opuntia ovoides Lemaire (Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 73. 1839) and Cactus ovoides Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868) are usually cited as synonyms for Opuntia ovata; they are unpublished names.

This species forms low clumps, each branch consisting of 2 to 5 joints. Dr. Rose found it abundant in the Andes above Mendoza and it has also been reported from the Chilean side of the Andes. Colonies differ in armament. In cultivation some of the joints are elongated and club-shaped.

Illustration: Schumann Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 105, as Opuntia grata.

Figure 112 shows joints of the plant collected by Dr. Rose in 1915 at Potrerillos, Argentina.

70. Opuntia sphaerica Förster, Hamb. Gartenz. 17: 167. 1861.

Opuntia dimorpha Förster, Hamb. Gartenz. 17: 167. 1861.

Opuntia leonina Haage and Schmidt in Regel and Schmidt, Gartenflora 30: 413. 1881.

Opuntia leucophaea Philippi, Anal. Mus. Nac. Chile 18912: 27. 1891.

Opuntia corotilla Schumann in Vaupel, Bot. Jahrb. Engler Beibl. 111: 28. 1913.

Plants often erect, always low, usually few-branched, often forming large patches; joints usually globular, 12 to 40 cm. in diameter; areoles large, numerous, sometimes nearly hiding the surfaces of the joints with their short brown wool; spines variable as to number, sometimes few, sometimes numerous, brown at first, in age sometimes gray, 1 to 4 cm. long, usually stiff; flowers 4 cm. long, deep orange; petals obtuse; fruit globular, often very spiny; seed globular, white, 4 mm. in diameter, surrounded by a thin, broad band.

Type locality: Near Arequipa, Peru

Distribution: Central Peru to central Chile.

The three illustrations cited below were made from the same cultivated plant. They look very much like a poor specimen of Opuntia glomerata, and, if such it should prove, the name O. leonina should be referred to the synonymy of that species.

We have referred Opuntia dimorpha here with some hesitancy.

This plant often passes for Opuntia ovata and, from herbarium specimens we have seen, it has been so identified by Rudolph Philippi.

This species is very common in sandy places on hills, dry flats, and in mountain valleys, often covering the ground to the exclusion of all other plants. The joints readily break loose and, falling to the ground, start new colonies. We found the species very common both above and below Arequipa, Peru, where it is called corotilla; in central Chile it grows at lower altitudes but in similar situations. In Chile it is called leon or leoncito, which is probably the origin of the name Opuntia leonina.

Opuntiaphyllacantha Haage and Schmidt (Regel and Schmidt, Gartenflora 30: 414. 1881), if it actually came from Chile, as stated, may belong here. The joints are more elongated, although the habit is somewhat similar. The illustration is poor and has doubtless been made from a greenhouse specimen. This name was given, with Salm-Dyck as authority, by Förster (Handb. Cact. 508. 1846), but without any description.

Illustrations: Cact. Journ. 1: 100; Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. f. 133; Gartenflora 30: 413, all as Opuntia leonina.

Figure 113 is from a photograph of joints of the plant collected by Dr. Rose above Arequipa, Peru, in 1914.

71. Opuntia skottsbergii sp. nov.

Roots thick and fleshy, sometimes 10 cm. long, the plant doubtless more or less cespitose; joints, at least some of them, globular, 3 cm. in diameter, almost hidden by the numerous closely set spines; areoles close together, small, at times producing long tufts of white wool; spines about 10, black except the yellowish tips, 1 to 2 cm. long; glochids numerous, elongated; flowers, includ

Fig. 113 .—Opuntia sphaerica.

ing the very spiny ovary, about 6 cm. long; petals about 3 cm. long, drying reddish or reddish green; areoles of the ovary bearing 5 to 7 spines, which are brown or blackish below and with more or less yellowish tips; fruit not known.

Collected near Lake Buenos Aires, Territory of Santa Cruz, Argentina, December 12, 1908, by Carl Skottsberg (No. 675); and again on the Rio Fenix, north of the locality above given, December 10, 1908 (No. 625, type).

This species belongs to the subgenus Tephrocactus, but is not closely related to any of the described species. The flower resembles very much the one figured by Henslow as O. darwinii, and it is possible that he may have had some of this species in his O. darwinii; the plant bodies, however, are so different that one could hardly confuse the two.

Figure 114 is copied from a photograph of the type specimen above cited.

72. Opuntia nigrispina Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 695. 1898.

Described as a shrub, 1 to 2 dm. high and much branched, the branches upright; joints dull green or reddish violet, 2 to 4 cm. long, 1 to 2 cm. in diameter, oblong-ellipsoid, terete, when young bearing decurrent, spirally arranged tubercles; areoles 2 to 3 mm. in diameter, bearing abun-

Fig. 114.—Opuntia skottsbergii. Fig. 115.—Opuntia nigrispina. X0.8. Fig. 116.—Opuntia pentlandii. X0.4.

dant wool and glochids; spines 3 to 5 from upper areoles, 2.5 to 3 cm. long, straight, spreading, subterete, weak, purplish black; flowers small, purple, 2.2 to 2.5 cm. long; petals spatulate, 1.5 cm. long, 6 mm. broad; stigma-lobes 5; ovary 1 cm. long, obovoid, nearly smooth.

Type locality: On the puna of Humahuaca, Argentina.

Distribution: Rare in stony mountains, altitude 3,500 meters, Jujuy, Argentina, and southern Bolivia.

Figure 115 represents a fruiting joint collected by J. A. Shafer at La Quiaca, Argentina, February 2, 1917 (No. 79).

73. Opuntia pentlandii Salm-Dyck, Allg. Gartenz. 13: 387. 1845.

Opuntia boliviana Salm-Dyck, Allg. Gartenz. 13: 388. 1845. Opuntiapyrrhacantha Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 694. 1898. Opuntia dactylifera Vaupel, Bot. Jahrb. Engler Beibl. 111: 29. 1913. Opuntia cucumiformis Griffiths, Bull. Torr. Club 43: 524. 1916. (From the description.) Plant much branched, forming low, rounded, compact mounds sometimes a meter broad with hundreds of short stubby branches; joints obovoid to oblong-cylindric, plump, 2 to 10 cm. long, sometimes 4 dm. in diameter, more or less pointed, pale green or sometimes purplish, tuberculate; areoles small, circular, filled with short wool and yellow glochids, the upper ones sometimes also having spines; spines sometimes wanting, when present mostly from the upper areoles, erect, 2 to 10, usually bright yellow, sometimes brownish becoming dull brown, the longest one 7 cm. long; flowers very

Opuntia purpurea R. E Fries, Nov. Act. Soc. Sci. Upsal. IV. 11: 123. 1905.

Fig. 114.—Opuntia skottsbergii. Fig. 115.—Opuntia nigrispina. X0.8. Fig. 116.—Opuntia pentlandii. X0.4.

FIG. 117. land variable in color and size, lemon-yellow to deep red, 2 to 3 cm. long, sometimes 5 cm. broad when fully expanded; petals obtuse; filaments short; style thick; stigma-lobes very short; ovary short with few areoles; areoles on ovary subtended by minute leaves, filled with short wool, the upper ones with bristle-like spines; fruit globular to short-oblong, 2 to 3 cm. long, dry; seeds numerous, 4 to 5 mm. long.

Type locality: In Bolivia.

Distribution: Very common on the high pampas of southeastern Peru and Bolivia, and adjacent Argentina.

Cactuspentlandii Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868), name only, is supposed to apply to this species.

This is one of the most characteristic plants of the high pampas of the Andean region, mostly growing at elevations of 12,000 feet or higher, forming low, broad, compact clumps, sometimes made up of a hundred plants or more.

Illustrations: ?Dict. Gard. Nicholson 2: f. 751; ?Forster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. f. 124; ?W. Watson, Cact. Cult. f. 77, all as Opuntia boliviana; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 24: 175, as Opuntia dactylifera.

Figure 116 represents a joint of the plant collected in 1914 by Dr. Rose at Comanche, Bolivia; figure 117 shows a flowering joint collected by Dr. Rose in 1914, at Juliaca, Peru.

74. Opuntia ignescens Vaupel, Bot. Jahrb. Engler Beibl. 111: 30.


Plants forming clumps 2 dm. high or less, with hundreds of erector spreading joints; joints bluish green, 8 to 10 cm. long, very fleshy, naked below; upper areoles very spiny; spines 6 to 15 from each areole, nearly equal, 4 to 5 cm. long, erect, acicular, yellow; flowers very showy, deep red; ovary oblong, 3 to 4 cm. long, naked below, but the upper areoles producing numerous spines 4 to 7 cm. long; fruit red, 7 cm. long, spiny and tuberculate above, terete below, with a deep umbilicus; seeds nearly globular, about 5 mm. in diameter.

Type locality: Near Sumbay, southern Peru.

Distribution: On the pampas of southern Peru and northern Chile, at altitude of 3,000 to 3,600 meters.

FIG. 117. land

Opuntia pent-ii. X0.4.

Opuntia pent-ii. X0.4.

Fig. 118.—Opuntia ignescens. X0.5.
Fig. 119.—Opuntia ignescens forming large mounds.

1. Top of Opuntia miquelii. 2. Old and young joints of Opuntia invicta.

3. Upper part of joints of Opuntia ignescens. (All natural size.)

Plate xvi, figure 3, represents old and young joints of the plant collected above Ayram-pal, Peru, by Dr. Rose in 1914. Figure 118 shows a fruit from the same plant; figure 119 is from a photograph taken by H. L. Tucker at Coropuna, Peru, in 1911.

75. Opuntia campestris sp. nov.

Much branched, often forming low, dense masses, 3 to 6 dm. in diameter; terminal joints readily breaking off; joints globular or a little longer than thick, 3 to 5 cm. long, with numerous prominent areoles, the tubercles conspicuous when young; leaves minute, 1 to 1.5 mm. long, caducous; glochids conspicuous, numerous, yellow; spines usually wanting at the lower areoles, present above, very unequal, 5 to 10, acicular, the longest ones 3.5 cm. long; flowers rosy white to light yellow, 2 to 3 cm. long; ovary naked or spiny; fruit thicker than long, 2.5 cm. long, with deep umbilicus, often very spiny.

Common just below railroad station at Pampa de Arrieros, Peru, where it was collected by Dr. Rose, August 23, 1914 (No. 18957).

Figure 120 represents joints of the type specimen above cited.

Fig. 120.—Opuntia campestris. X0.8.

76. Opuntia ignota sp. nov.

Low, much branched, spreading; joints small, narrow, 2 to 3 cm. long, more or less purplish; leaves minute, often purplish; spines 2 to 7 from an areole, brownish, acicular, the longest ones 4 to 5 cm. long; glochids, when present, yellow; areoles large, full of grayish wool; flowers and fruit not seen.

Collected by Dr. Rose on the hills below the railroad station at Pampa de Arrieros, Peru, August 23, 1914 (No. 18974).

Plants grown in greenhouses are dark green and develop few spines or none.

This plant grows in the same region as O. campestris, but is quite different from it.

Figure 121 shows joints of the type specimen above cited.


Includes all the species with flattened joints; a few species have nearly terete joints; others have some of the joints terete. Twenty-eight series are recognized. The species are most abundant in North America, but several series are found only in South America, while others have representatives in both Americas. (See Key to the Series, p. 45.)

Series 1. PUMILAE.

Low, spiny species, with slightly flattened, narrowly cylindric or linear-oblong, readily detached ultimate joints, the main stem terete We know three species, the typical one in Mexico and Guatemala, one from Oaxaca, Mexico, and one Peruvian. In the structure of their joints they form a transitional series between Cylindropuntia and Platyopuntia, and might be included in either of these subgenera with about equal reason.

Key to Species.

Young areoles with only 1 to 3 spines; joints 2 to 3 cm. thick.

Plant 1 to 5 meters high; joints tubercled; spines yellowish 77. O. pumila

Plants about 2 dm. high; joints not tubercled; spines reddish to brown 77a. O. depauperata

Areoles with 3 to 7 spines; plants 1 to 4 dm. high.

Joints 1 to 1.5 cm. thick; areoles not blotched; spines brownish 78. O. pubescens

Joints 2 to 3 cm. thick; young areoles dark-blotched; spines yellowish 79. O. pascoensis

Fig. 122.—Opuntia pumila forming low thickets.

77. Opuntia pumila Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 50: 521. 1908.

Stems low, very much branched, the joints readily falling off when touched, 6 to 20 cm. long, velvety-pubescent, terete or sometimes slightly flattened, turgid, bearing more or less prominent tubercles; areoles small, those of old stems bearing several slender spines, the longer ones 3 cm. long; areoles of young joints usually bearing 2 yellowish spines; ovary pubescent, with few spines or none; petals yellow, tinged with red, 15 mm. long; fruit globular, red, 15 mm. long.

Type locality: Near Oaxaca City, Mexico, on the road to Mitla.

Distribution: Central and southern Mexico.

When this species was described, attention was called to various forms which belonged here or to one or more related species. These we now refer to O. pubescens.

Figure 122 is from a photograph of the type; figure 123 represents joints of the same.

77a. Opuntia depauperata sp. nov. (See Appendix, p. 216.)

78. Opuntia pubescens Wendland* in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 149. 1837.

Opuntia leptarthra Weber in Gosselin, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 10: 393. 1904.

Plants small, usually low, sometimes 4 dm. high, much branched; joints easily becoming detached, nearly terete, glabrous or pubescent, 3 to 7 cm. long; spines numerous, short, brownish; flowers lemon-yellow but drying red; filaments greenish; style white; stigma-lobes cream-colored; fruit small, 2 to 2.5 cm. long, red, a little spiny, with a depressed umbilicus; seeds small, 3 mm. in diameter.

Type locality: In Mexico.

Distribution: Northern Mexico to Guatemala.

This species was sent to the Exposition Universelle at Paris by the Mexican Government in 1889, and was there seen and described by Dr. Weber as O. leptarthra. A part of this material finally went to the Han-bury Garden at La Mortola, Italy, whence we obtained specimens in 1913 which prove to be identical with specimens obtained by Dr. Rose and others in Mexico and Guatemala in 1905 to 1909.

This is an insignificant species and hence has generally been overlooked in the region where so many more striking species are found. It is widely distributed, extending from the State of Tamaulipas, in Mexico, to Guatemala, a much greater range than that of most species. Its wide distribution is doubtless due to the fact that the joints, which are covered with barbed spines and are easily detached, fasten themselves to various animals and are scattered like burs over the country; each little joint thus set free starts a new center of distribution.

This is a difficult plant to grow in greenhouses, for the spreading or hanging branches soon become entangled with other plants and break off in attempts to free or move them; partly for this reason, doubtless, it rarely flowers in cultivation.

Opuntia angusta Meinshausen (Wochenschr. Gartn. Pflanz. 1: 30. 1858) was unknown to Schumann. It was originally described as similar to the South American species, O. au-rantiaca, and, if so, it must be near O. pubescens, if not identical with it, being a native of Mexico, where it was first collected by Karwinsky.

Figure 124 represents joints of the Guatemalan plant, cultivated in the greenhouses of the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, obtained in 1907 .

79. Opuntia pascoensis sp. nov.

Stems erect and rigid, up to 3 dm. high; joints easily breaking apart, erect or ascending, terete or slightly flattened, 3 to 12 cm. long, 1.5 to 4 cm. broad, puberulent, hardly tuberculate but with faint upturned lunate depressions between the dark-blotched areoles; leaves minute; areoles somewhat elevated, filled with brown wool intermixed with longer white cobwebby hairs; spines 4 to 8 on young joints, more on older joints, acicular, yellow, 2 cm. long or less; glochids numerous, short, yellow, tardily developing; fruit globular, 1.5 cm. in diameter, naked below, spiny above. Doubtless of wide distribution, for the joints are easily detached and are distributed like burs, but so far only two collections have been reported.

*Pfeiffer (Enum. Cact. 1837) frequently refers several of Wendland's species to Catal. h. Herrnh. 1835, but we can find no references to Wendland having published a catalogue of the Herrenhausen Garden either in 1835 or about that time. We have therefore cited all of Wendland's species so referred by Pfeiffer to the pages given in his Enumeratio.

Fig. 123.—Opuntia pumila. X0.4. Fig. 124.—Opuntia pubescens. X0.75.

Collected by Dr. and Mrs. J. N. Rose in central and southern Peru, in 1914, first from just below Matucana (No. 18653), and later at Pasco (No. 18812, type).

Plate xvn, figure 1, represents a joint of the type specimen above cited.


This series is composed of 10, or perhaps 11, species of low plants, characterized by their fragile branches, the small joints separating and becoming detached very readily, more or less flattened or subterete. They mostly inhabit the southern United States and the West Indies; one is known from Ecuador; the original home of one of the species recognized is unknown.

Key to Species.

Spines acicular.

Joints oval, mostly not more than twice as long as wide; plants prostrate, little branched 80. O. curassavica

Joints oblong to linear, 2 to 8 times as long as wide; plants ascending or erect, much branched.

Joints narrowly linear, 1 to 2 cm. wide 81. O. taylori

Joints oblong to linear-oblong or obovate-oblong, 2 to 4 cm. wide.

Joints oblong to linear, 4 to 8 times as long as wide; spines 1 to 3 cm. long.

Joints not tubercled 82. O. repens

Joints tubercled, at least when young 82a. O. pestifer

Joints oblong to obovate-oblong, 2 to 3 times as long as wide; spines 3 to 5 cm. long . . . 83. O. borinquensis Spines subulate. Spines white.

Roots fibrous; spines at most of the areoles 84. O. militaris

Roots tuberous; spines only at the upper areoles 85. O. nemoralis

Spines brown.

Joints oval to oblong.

Joints scarcely repand; plant up to 2 dm 86. O. drummondii

Joints strongly repand; plant 1 dm 87. O. tracyi

Joints linear-lanceolate 88. O. pusilla

Affinity uncertain 89. O. darrahiana

80. Opuntia curassavica (Linnaeus) Miller, Gard. Dict. ed. 8. No. 7. 1768.

Cactus curassavicus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 469. 1753.

Stems low, 5-jointed, light green, prostrate and creeping or hanging over rocks; joints oval to oblong, decidedly flattened but thick, 2 to 5 cm. long, glabrous; leaves minute, soon withering; areoles small, bearing short wool and longer, white cobwebby hairs; spines 4 to many, acicular, 2.5 cm. long or less, yellowish, becoming white in age; glochids tardily developing.

Type locality: Curacao Island. Fig. i25.-Opuntia curassavica. xo.75.

Distribution: Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba.

Haworth (Syn. Pl. Succ. 196. 1812) describes three varieties, major, media, and minor, and later (Rev. Pl. Succ. 71. 1821) also describes the variety longa. O. curassavica elongata Haworth (Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 184. 1834), a name only, is supposed to be the same as var. longa.

This is one of the oldest species of Opuntia, having been described and figured as early as 1696. For a long time it has been unknown, the name having been transferred to a similar species, O. repens. In 1913 Dr. Britton visited Curacao, its native home, and re-collected it. Its flowers have not been described, and several residents informed him that they had never seen it in flower; Dr. Britton did not find it in flower on Curaçao, nor has it flowered with us in cultivation; Haworth, who wrote about it in 1812, speaks of its being a shy bloomer, saying he had seen it in flower but once. In early English books it is called pin pillow, because its turgid joints suggest pincushions filled with pins.

Illustrations: Bradley, Hist. Succ. Pl. ed. 2. pl. 4, as Opuntia minima americana, etc.; Commerson Hort. pl. 56, as Opuntia curassavica minima; Plukenet, Opera Bot. 3: pl. 281, f. 3, as Opuntia minor caulescens.

Figure 125 represents the plant collected on Curaçao by Dr. N. L. Britton and Dr. J. A. Shafer in 1913.

M. E. Eaton del.

1. Joint of Opuntiapascoensis. 3, 4. Forms of Opuntia repens. 5. Flower of same.

2. Joints of Opuntia taylori. 6. Flowering joint of Opuntia drummondii.

(All natural size.)

81. Opuntia taylori Britton and Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coll. 50: 520. 1908.

Opuntia hattoniana Britton and Rose in Johnston and Tryon, Rep. Prickly-Pear Comm. 97. 1914.

Prostrate, widely branched; joints linear to linear-oblong, 12 cm. long or less, bright green, 1 to 2 cm. wide, turgid, glabrous or pubescent; areoles 1 to 1.5 cm. apart, not elevated; spines acicular, 3 to 6 at each areole, yellowish brown, becoming white, 4 cm. long or less; glochids yellowish brown, 3 mm. long; flowers yellow, small, the petals about 1 cm. long; ovary pyriform, 1 to 1.5 cm. long, its areoles with few bristles and spineless.

Type locality: Between Gonaives and La Hotte Rochee, on road to Terre Neuve, Haiti.

Distribution: Deserts of Haiti and of Azua, Santo Domingo.

This species, while similar to O. repens, has more terete joints.

It was first collected in 1905 in Haiti by Nash and Taylor, and upon this collection the species was based. In 1913 Rose, Fitch, and Russell collected it in the Azua desert of Santo Domingo. In this last collection the joints are pubescent, but otherwise the plants seem to be the same, although we at one time thought they might be distinct; in fact, in their report on the opuntias, Johnston and Tryon published the Santo Domingo plant as new, from notes given to them.

Plate xvii, figure 2, represents joints of the plant collected by Rose, Fitch, and Russell at Azua, Santo Domingo, in 1913.

82. Opuntia repens Bello, Anal. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 10: 277. 1881.

Stems erect or ascending, 5 dm. high or less, commonly much branched, often forming dense, flat masses 4 meters in diameter, glabrous or pubescent, green or olive-green; joints oblong to linear 5 to 16 cm. long, 3.5 cm. broad or less, usually strongly flattened; areoles small, bearing brown wool and a few cobwebby white hairs; spines when very young pinkish, becoming brown, afterwards fading out, acicular, numerous, 3.5 cm. long, or less; glochids numerous, yellow, tardily developing; flowers 4 cm. broad, bright yellow, fading to salmon-colored; ovary and fruit with or without spines; fruit red, 2 to 3 cm. long, 1 to few-seeded.

Type locality: Near Guanica, Porto Rico.

Distribution: Porto Rico and its islands, Mona, Muertos, Vieques, and Culebra, to Virgin Gorda and St. Croix.

Opuntia repens has long been confused with O. curassavica. It was first collected on St. Thomas, where it is abundant and a troublesome weed, and was illustrated by Pfeiffer and Otto in the year 1843. It was described by Bello in 1881, who thought it might be a variety of O. spinosissima. According to Bello, it is called olaga in Porto Rico, which is a corruption of ohulaga; the name suckers is used for it in the Virgin Islands. The plant is freely distributed by its fragile, clinging joints. Unlike its relative, O. curassavica, this plant flowers freely, blooming in late spring and summer.

Opuntia repens Karwinsky in Salm-Dyck (Hort. Dyck. 361. 1834) has been published only as a synonym, and therefore does not invalidate the use of Bello's name.

The plant is recorded by Johnston and Tryon (Rep. Prickly-Pear Comm. 95. 1914) as O. curassavica taylori.

Illustration: Pfeiffer and Otto, Abbild. Beschr. Cact. 1: pl. 6, f. 2, as Opuntia curas-savica.

Plate xvii, figure 3, represents joints of the plant collected near Guanica, Porto Rico, by Dr. Britton in 1913; figure 4 is from a plant obtained by the same collector the same year on Virgin Gorda; figure 5 is copied from the illustration above cited.

82a. Opuntia pestifer sp. nov. (See Appendix p. 217.)

83. Opuntia borinquensis sp. nov.

Plants few-branched, forming colonies often 2 meters across, 5 dm. high or less; joints readily detached, oblong to obovate-oblong, dull green, glabrous, compressed but turgid, 5 to 8 cm. long, 4 cm. wide or less, about 1.5 cm. thick; areoles small, 1 to 2 cm. apart, bearing 2 or 3 acicular spines, the larger up to 6 cm. long, brown when young, fading white; leaves subulate, acuminate, 1 to 2 mm. long; fruit obovoid, subtruncate, 1.5 cm. long.

Limestone swale, Morilios de Cabo Rojo, Porto Rico (Britton, Cowell, and Brown, No. 4741), growing with O. repens Bello, from which it differs by its larger, broader, and flatter joints and much longer spines.

The only locality known for this plant is at the extreme southwestern corner of Porto Rico, where numerous colonies of it were observed. The region is a very dry one, rain falling there only at long intervals; the associated vegetation is of a highly xerophytic character. Figure 126 represents joints of the type specimen above cited.

84. Opuntia militaris sp. nov.

Stems 3 dm. tall, the branches weak and more or less spreading; joints thick, narrowly oblong to obovate, 5 to 8 cm. long, somewhat shiny when young, easily breaking apart; spines 1 or 2 from an areole, occasionally more, acicular, white, 1 to 2 cm. long; flower-buds pointed; flowers small, 3 cm. long; petals greenish to cream-colored, tinged with pink; ovary small, its small areoles without spines.

Collected by Dr. N. L. Britton, March 17 to 30, 1909, at the U. S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Oriente, Cuba (No. 1957).

Figure 127 represents joints of the type specimen above cited.

85. Opuntia nemoralis Griffiths, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 23: 133. 1913.

Plants low, usually prostrate, forming clumps 1 meter in diameter, sometimes 3 dm. high; joints ovate to obovate, thick, 7 to 9 cm. long, green, but often with purple blotches about the areoles; spines 1 or 2, only from the upper areoles, 2 to 2.5 cm. long, mostly erect; glochids yellow; flowers yellow; fruit obovoid to pyriform, small, 3 cm. long, light red, truncate.

Type locality: Longview, Texas.

Distribution: Pine woods and fields about Longview, Texas.

This species in habit, joints, and spines suggests the Tortispinae; but on account of having easily detached joints we have referred it to the Curassavicae, as indicated in the original description, placing it between the Cuban species O. militaris and the United States species O. drummondii. It is known only from the type specimens.

86. Opuntia drummondii Graham in Maund, Botanist 5: pl. 246. 1846.

Plant prostrate or spreading, 2 dm. or less high, from thickened single or sometimes moniliform roots; joints rather variable, narrowly linear to broadly oblong, with entire margins, sometimes 12 cm. long and 5 to 6 cm. broad, usually light green, sometimes darker about the areoles; leaves

Fig. 126.—Opuntia borinquensis. X0.5.

Opuntiapes-corvi LeConte in Engelmann, Proc. Amer. Acad. 3: 346. 1856. Opuntiafrustulenta Gibbes, Proc. Elliott Soc. Nat. Hist. 1: 273. 1859.

1. Two plants of Opuntia drummondii. 3. Joints of Opuntia triacantha.

2. Joints of Opuntia retrorsa with flower. 4, 5. Joint and section of fruit of Opuntia jamaicensis.

(All natural size.)

1. Two plants of Opuntia drummondii. 3. Joints of Opuntia triacantha.

2. Joints of Opuntia retrorsa with flower. 4, 5. Joint and section of fruit of Opuntia jamaicensis.

(All natural size.)

2 to 6 mm. long; spines (if present) solitary or 2 to 4, brownish red or gray, 2 to 4 cm. long; flowers yellow, 6 cm. broad; petals obovate; fruit red, juicy but insipid, obovoid to clavate, 22 to 35 mm. long, 1.5 mm. in diameter at thickest part, bearing few areoles and no spines; umbilicus slightly depressed in the center; seeds

Type locality: Apalachicola, Florida.

Distribution: Sandy soil from northern Florida to Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.

In February 1916, Dr. J. K. Small visited the coastal islands near Charleston, South Carolina, for the purpose of collecting Gibbes's Opuntia frustulenta. He found this species very common on Folly Island and on the Isle of Palms, where it grows abundantly in the sand, and also very variable as to shape and size of joints. He says the joints break off easily and attach themselves to one's clothing like the sand spur, making progress over these islands difficult and painful. It is the common belief that this species rarely flowers. It usually flowers when first brought into cultivation, but rarely afterward, this doubtless being due to unsuitable greenhouse conditions.

The fruit described was collected by Dr. J. K. Small, December 10, 1917, at Apalachicola, Florida, the type locality.

According to Professor L. R. Gibbes, it is known as dildoes about Charleston.

Illustration: Maund, Botanist 5: pl.

Plate xvn, figure 6, represents flowering joints of a plant sent from La Mor-tola, Italy, to the New York Botanical Garden in 19 12; plate xvin, figure 1, shows the plant collected by Dr. Small on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, in 1916.

Herbarium specimens apparently representing a related species, were collected by W. L. McAtee at Cameron Louisiana, in 1910 (No. 1955).

87. Opuntia tracyi Britton, Torreya 11: 152.


Low, diffusely much branched, pale green, about 2 dm. high or less; older joints oblong to linear-oblong, flat, 6 to 8 cm. long, 1.5 to 2.5 cm. wide, about 1 cm. thick; young joints scarcely flattened or terete, 1 cm. thick; areoles elevated, 5 to 10 mm. apart; spines 1 to 4, acicular, light gray with darker tips, 3.5 cm. long or less; glochids numerous, brownish; corolla pure yellow, 4 cm. broad; ovary 1.5 cm. long, bearing a few triangular acute scales similar to the outermost sepals, which are

2 mm. long; sepals triangular-ovate, 5 to 15 mm. long, the outer green, the inner yellowish with a green blotch; petals obovate, apiculate, 2 to 2.5 cm. long; filaments yellow, 1 cm. long; anthers white.

In sandy soil near the coast, Biloxi, Mississippi.

Figure 128 is from a photograph of the plant collected by S. M. Tracy at Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1911.

88. Opuntia pusilla Haworth, Syn. Pl. Succ. 195. 1812.

Cactuspusillus Haworth, Misc. Nat. 188. 1803.

Cactusfoliosus Willdenow, Enum. Pl. Suppl. 35. 1813.

Opuntiafoliosa Salm-Dyck in De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 471. 1828.

Low, usually prostrate; joints narrow, more or less flattened, sometimes nearly terete, hardly tuberculate, light green in color; leaves 6 mm. long, linear, early deciduous; areoles remote; spines

Fig. 128.—Opuntia tracyi.

i or 2, subulate, usually brownish when young, in age straw-colored; flowers pale yellow, rather large for the plant; petals few, about 8, spreading, acute.

Type locality: Not cited.

Distribution: Usually assigned to South America, but not known from any definite locality; Schumann, in his Keys, however, says West Indies.

This species has usually passed under the name of O. foliosa, although all writers seem to agree that the older name, O. pusilla, was given to the same species. It may belong in the series Aurantiacae rather than in the Curassavicae.

Specimens distributed from European gardens as O. foliosa in recent years are not typical, and are probably referable to O. drummondii.

Tephrocactus pusillus Lemaire (Cact. 88. 1868), a

Continue reading here: The cactaceae

Was this article helpful?

0 0