Key to Species

Leaves long-persisting, elongated.

Leaves up to 12 cm. long; spines yellowish white 41. O. subulata

Leaves I to 7 cm. long; spines brownish 42. O. exaltata

Leaves early deciduous, short.

Stem 1 meter high; leaves 4 mm. long 43. O. pachypus

Stem 3 to 4 meters high; leaves 10 to 13 mm. long 44. O. cylindrica

41. Opuntia subulata (Muhlenpfordt) Engelmann, Gard. Chron. 1: 627. 1883.

Pereskia subulata Muhlenpfordt, Allg. Gartenz. 1: 347. 1845.

Opuntia ellemeetiana Miquel, Nederl. Krudk. Arch. 4: 337. 1858.*

Opuntia segethii Philippi, Bot. Zeit. 26: 861. 1868.

Either with a simple erect stem or with several main branches from the base, 2 to 4 meters high; trunk 6 to 10 cm. in diameter, the old bark smooth and brown, its areoles bearing clusters of 8 spines or more; branches numerous, more or less clustered but not whorled, at first almost at right angles to main stem but soon erect, bright green; leaves persistent, green, nearly at right angles to branch, straight or somewhat bowed above, nearly terete, pointed, 5 to 12.5 cm. long, grooved on the under side; tubercles large, depressed, becoming obliterated on old branches, arranged in longitudinal or spiral lines, more or less diamond-shaped, but retuse at apex and pointed or attentuate below, 2 to 4 cm. long; areoles in the retuse grooves of the tubercles bearing a few short yellow spines or sometimes spineless, but usually having 1 or 2 slender spines; flowers borne toward the ends of the branches; sepals reddish, minute, 4 to 8 mm. long or less; petals broader than the sepals, orange or greenish yellow; style rose-red except the whitish base, including the stigma-lobes about 3 cm. long, about as long as the longest stamens; stigma-lobes 5 or 6, slender, orange-yellow; fruit oblong, more or less persistent, 6 to 10 cm. long, leafy, with a deep umbilicus, sometimes proliferous; seeds few, 10 to 12 mm. long.

Type locality: Valparaiso, Chile, but doubtless described from cultivated plants.

Distribution: Chile is usually given as the home of this plant, but it is not found wild there. It may be a native in Argentina.

This species has long been in cultivation, it having originally been sent from Valparaiso, but Dr. Rose did not find it wild there or in any other part of Chile. It is rarely seen in cultivation in Chile. For many years it passed as a species of Pereskia, but in 1883 Dr. George Engelmann pointed out that it could not be retained in that genus and transferred it to Opuntia. The leaves are the largest in the genus, and it has larger seeds than any other

We have referred Opuntia ellemeetiana (originally described from Chile), a species with very long leaves, to O. subulata, although we have never seen specimens. Schumann did not know it and only lists it.

*Schumann says 1859.

We have been able more definitely to refer here Opuntia segethii, for we saw not only Philippi's type specimens in his herbarium, but also living specimens grown from Philippi's original stock. The type specimen was from plants cultivated at Santiago, but in a later publication he states that his species grows spontaneously near Arequipa. A part of this latter material is preserved in his herbarium at Santiago, which Dr. Rose was able to study; he also examined the Arequipa plant alive, and is convinced that it is quite different, being the plant common in Peru and Bolivia described below as Opuntia exaltata.

Illustrations: Engler and Prantl, Pflanzenfam. 36a: f. 56, L; Gard. Chron. III. 34: 1. 33, 38; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 8: 7; 9: 183; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 103; Neub. Gart. Mag. 1893: 291, this as Pereskia subulata; Bot. Zeit. 26: pl. 13, C. f. 1; Gartenflora 32: pl. 1129, f. 5, the last two as Opuntia segethii.

Figure 90 is from a photograph of a plant at the New York Botanical Garden grown from a cutting brought by Mrs. H. L. Britton from the Riviera, Italy, in 1907.

42. Opuntia exaltata Berger, Hort. Mortol. 410.


Stem 2 to 5 meters high, with a definite trunk 5 to 30 cm. in diameter when well grown, much branched; ultimate joints fleshy, easily detached, somewhat curved upward, clavate, strongly tuber-culate; tubercles large, 1.5 to 3 cm. long, more or less diamond-shaped, elevated, and rounded; areoles rounded, filled with short white wool; glochids often wanting, when present brown; leaves fleshy, terete, 1 to 7 cm. long; spines on young joints 1 to 5, mostly 1 to 3, dark yellow or brownish, unequal, the longest ones 5 cm. long; spines on old wood numerous, sometimes 12 or more, often 13 cm. long, brown, with roughened tips; flowers, including ovaries, 7 cm. long; sepals and petals brick-red; outer sepals ovate, small, the inner ones passing into petals; petals 2 cm. long, broadly obovate to broadly spatulate, sometimes nearly truncate at apex; stamens numerous, short, pinkish above, nearly white below; style swollen below, pinkish; stigma-lobes greenish; ovary 4 cm. long, deeply umbilicate, with barge flat tubercles; areoles on ovary circular, fibbed with short brown and white wool, bong, loosely attached brown spines, and a few shorter glochids, and subtended by small, tardily deciduous leaves; fruit greens pear-shaped, 9 cm. long, usually sterile; seeds large, irregular, 10 mm. broad.

Type locality: Not cited; described from cultivated plants.

Distribution: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and probably northern Chile.

This Opuntia is called pataquisca by the Cuzco and Arequipa Indians, and is also known as espina.

This species was the most widely distributed Opuntia seen by Dr. Rose on the west coast of South America; but it is difficult to decide whether it is really native there, for it is widely cultivated as a hedge plant in many places. It seems to be native along the upper Rimac of central Peru; at least it is well established on the hills. Although very common in southern Peru and about La Paz, Bolivia, it is probably introduced for it grows only about towns and cultivated fields and seems never to produce fertile fruit. About Cuzco it is likewise cultivated, but maybe a native there also, for the fruit is generally fertile.

Fig. 90.—Opuntia subulata.

1. Opuntia fulgida as seen in the highlands of Peru.

2. Clump of Opuntia spinosior as it grows in the valleys of the Andes of eastern Peru.

Opuntia maxillare Roezl (Morren, Belg. Hort. 24: 39. 1874), published without description and probably collected in the high mountains above Lima, may belong here.

Opuntia cumingii, of European gardens, belongs here. It was briefly mentioned in the journal of the Berlin Cactus Society (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 7: 160. 1897), but not formally described. Schumann referred it to O. pentlandii.

This species is near Opuntia subulata, but probably is distinct, although it is not always easy to distinguish them in greenhouse plants. Berger speaks of the similarity of the two as follows:

"This new species stands very close to O. subulata, and may be easily mistaken for it, but when grown side by side the differences are quite obvious. O. exaltata is a taller plant with generally longer branches, and somewhat glaucous instead of grass-green. The tubercles are more elongated and differently marked. The leaves are shorter, the spines, when young, are not white, but yellowish brown, generally stouter and stiffer. I have not yet seen a flower of it. It is an old inhabitant of our gardens."

Plate xiii, figure 1, is from a photograph taken by Hiram Bingham, July 7, 1912, near Tipon, Cuzco Valley, Peru, showing the plant near the upper left-hand corner; plate xv, figure 1, represents a leaf-bearing joint of a plant sent to the New York Botanical Garden from La Mortola, Italy, in 1915; figure 2 represents the lower part of a fruiting branch obtained by Dr. Rose at Cuzco, Peru, in 1914.

43. Opuntia pachypus Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 14: 26. 1904.

Plant about 1 meter high, much branched and candelabrum-like; branches cylindric, 3 to 5 cm. in diameter, either straight or curved, marked with broad tubercles; leaves subulate, pointed, constricted at the base, 4 mm. long, early deciduous; areoles circular, borne at the upper edges of the tubercles, 4 mm. in diameter, filled with short wool; spines 20 to 30, subulate, 5 to 20 mm. long; glochids yellow; flowers scarlet, 7 cm. long, including the ovary; petals variable, the longest ones 1.4 cm. long; style very thick, 9 mm. long; stigma-lobes 5 mm. long; ovary more or less spiny.

Type locality: Near Santa Clara, Peru.

Distribution: Central Peru, near the coast.

We know this species only from the description and illustrations. In 1914 Dr. Rose made several unsuccessful efforts to find it at Santa r-s, . , Fig. 91.—Opuntia pachypus.

Clara, the type locality.

Illustrations: Engler and Drude, Veg. Erde 12: pl. 5b Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 14: 27.

Figure 91 is copied from the second illustration above cited.

44. Opuntia cylindrica (Lamarck) De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 471. 1828.

Cactus cylindricus Lamarck, Encycl. 1: 539. 1783.

Cereus cylindricus Haworth, Syn. Pl. Succ. 183. 1812.

More or less branched, 3 to 4 meters high, the old trunk becoming smooth; joints cylindric, obtuse at apex, green, with slightly elevated tubercles; leaves deciduous, 10 to 13 mm. long, terete, acute; areoles depressed, filled with white wool, bearing some long hairs and at first 2 or 3, afterwards more, short white spines (spines often wanting on greenhouse plants); flowers appearing just below the ends of the terminal branches, small, inconspicuous, about 2.5 cm. broad, scarlet; petals small, erect, obtuse; stamens numerous; style slender, 2.5 cm. long; ovary strongly tuberculate, depressed at apex; fruit about 5 cm. long, yellowish green; seeds more or less angled, 4 to 6 mm. in diameter.

Type locality: In Peru.

Distribution: Highlands of Ecuador and Peru.

The home of this species is usually given by recent writers as Chile, but Lamarck, who described it first in 1783, said it came from Peru. Dr. Rose, who visited Peru and Chile in

1914, was not able to find it wild in either country but found it abundant in Ecuador, in 1918. This species was introduced into England in 1799, but flowers were not known until about 1834.

There are two abnormal forms in cultivation which are offered under the names variety cristata and monstruosa. Several varieties of this species are given in catalogues: cristata (Haage and Schmidt, Haupt-Verzeichnis 1908: 228. 1908); cristata minor Haage and Schmidt (Verzeichnis Blumenzwiebeln 1913: 37. 1913); and robustior (Haage and Schmidt, HauptVerzeichnis 1908: 228. 1908).

Illustration: Curtis's Bot. Mag. 61: pl. 3301; Carnegie Inst. Wash. 269: pl. 10, f. 88.

Plate xiv, figure 2, shows a leaf-bearing top of a plant grown at the New York Botanical Garden.


Bushy plants, with elongated cylindric bluish joints; tubercles large, elevated; leaves minute, early deciduous. The series consists of but one species, confined to the deserts of northern Chile.

45. Opuntia miquelii Monville, Hort. Univ. 1: 218. i84o.*

Opuntiapulverulenta Pfeiffer, Allg. Gartenz. 8: 407. 1840.

Opuntia pulverulenta miquelii Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 49. 1845.

Opuntia geissei Philippi, Anal. Univ. Chile 85: 492. 1894.

Opuntia rosiflora Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 686. 1898.

Often growing in colonies 2 to 5 meters broad; stems cylindric, much branched, usually less than I meter high, but occasionally 1.5 meters high, with numerous lateral branches; branches rather short, usually only 8 to 20 cm. long, thick (5 to 6 cm. in diameter); old branches bluish green, with low tubercles sometimes 2 cm. long; young joints bright green, with high tubercles flattened laterally; spines tardily developing, but formidable on old branches, very unequal, in clusters of i0 or more, the longest ones nearly i0 cm. long, whitish in age; glochids numerous, brownish, caducous; leaves minute, 2 to 3 mm. long; areoles circular, when young filled with white wool, in age somewhat elevated on the areoles; flowers rather variable in length, to 8 cm. long including the ovary, rose-colored to nearly white; petals broad, apiculate, 2 to 2.5 cm. long; filaments rose-colored; ovary strongly tuberculate; areoles filled with numerous brown glochids and subtended by minute leaves; style white; stigma-lobes green; fruit ovoid to oblong in outline, nearly white; umbilicus truncate; seeds small, 4 mm. broad.

Type locality: In South America, but no definite locality.

Distribution: Province of Atacama, Chile.

Opuntia miquelii and O. pulverulenta have long been considered identical. We have not seen the types of either, but are following such authorities as Salm-Dyck (in 1850), La-bouret (1853), and Rumpler (1885) in uniting them. They seem to have been published in the same year.

Opuntia geissei, according to a statement made to Dr. Rose by Juan Sohrens, of Santiago, is the same as O. miquelii, and this the former was able to verify by later herbarium and field studies.

Opuntia rosiflora Schumann was based on Philippi's unpublished name O. rosea; while O. rosea was made by Philippi the type of O. geissei. This is clearly shown by Philippi's herbarium, where he has erased the name O. rosea and substituted O. geissei. Dr. Rose also obtained from William Geisse a part of Philippi's original specimen, which came, as the label states, from near Bandurrias, in the valley of Carrizal, in the Province of Atacama. Later on, while making field observations in Atacama, Dr. Rose found this species very common from north of Castillo to Vallenar. This is in the general region of O. geissei (O. rosea and O. rosiflora) and in the river valley of the Huasco. Huasco, the type locality of O. miquelii, is 25 miles lower down this valley, and we have no hesitancy in uniting them all.

Although this species is not uncommon in cultivation, it has rarely been seen in flower, and we believe that the fruit has not heretofore been described.

*Schumann states that this book was published in 1839.

1. Flowering branch of Opuntia burrageana. 3, 4. Joints of Opuntia stanlyi.

2. Opuntia cylindrica. 5. Flowering joint of Opuntia macrorhiza.

(All natural size.)

Dr. Rose observed a single plant infested by Loranthus aphyllus, the parasite which is so abundant on Cereus chiloensis.

Opuntia heteromorpha Philippi (Anal. Mus. Nac. Chile 18912: 28. 1891) we refer here on the authority of Schumann, but we have seen no specimens, the type specimen being missing from the Philippi herbarium in Santiago; it was collected at Chiquito, Tarapaca, Chile.

Dr. Weber thought that Opuntia segethii belonged here, but we have referred it to O. subulata.

Opuntia carrizalensis Philippi is only mentioned by Schumann (Gesamtb. Kakteen Nachtr. 152. 1903). It is doubtless to be referred here.

Plate xvi, figure 1, is from a plant collected by Dr. Rose at Vallenar, Chile, in 1914.

Series 13. CLAVATAE.

Here we include nine prostrate or spreading, low species, natives of the southwestern United States and Mexico, characterized by clavate joints and by sheathless spines, although rudimentary sheaths have been observed on young spines in some of the species; they appear to form a transition between the subgenus Cylindropuntia and the South American subgenus Tephrocactus, from which they differ essentially in having clavate joints.

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