Key to Species

Spineless, or rarely a few short spines on old joints 1. N. cochenillifera

Joints spiny (spines few in N. auberi).

Spines, at least those of young joints, very slender, acicular, several at each areole.

Spines white 2. N. guatemalensis

Spines yellow or becoming brown.

Joints obovate to oblong, 10 to 22 cm. long, 5 to 10 cm. wide 3. N. lutea

Joints linear-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 6 to 12 cm. long, 2 to 3 cm. wide 3a. N. gaumeri

Spines stouter, subulate.

Areoles with 1 or 2 spines, or spineless; joints glaucous 4. N. auberi

Areoles with 2 to 4 spines; joints green.

Joints linear or linear-oblong, 4 to 7 times as long as wide 5. N. dejecta

Joints oblong or oblong-obovate, 2 to 4 times as long as wide.

Spines 2 to 4; joints not tuberculate 6. N. karwinskiana

Spines 4 to 12; joints strongly tuberculate 7. N. inaperta

1. Nopalea cochenillifera (Linnaeus) Salm-Dyck, Cact. fort. Dyck. 1849. 64. 1850.

Cactus cochenillifer Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 468. 1753. Opuntia cochinelifera Miller, Gard. Dict. ed. 8. No. 6. 1768.

Often tall plants, 3 to 4 meters high, with trunks up to 2 dm. thick; branches of ascending or spreading oblong joints, sometimes 5 dm. long, green, bright green at first; spines none or rarely minute ones develop on the older joints; glochids numerous, caducous; leaves small, awl-shaped, soon deciduous; flowers appearing from the tops of the joints, usually in great abundance; flower, from base of ovary to tip of style, 5.5 cm. long; ovary nearly globular, 2 cm. long, with low diamond-shaped tubercles, its areoles bearing many glochids; sepals broadly ovate, acute, scarlet; petals a little longer than the sepals, otherwise similar, persistent; stamens pinkish, exserted 1 to 1.5 cm. beyond the petals; stigma-lobes 6 or 7, greenish, exserted beyond the stamens; style swollen just above its base into a broad disk; fruit red, about 5 cm. long, rarely maturing in greenhouse plants; seeds about 5 mm. long and 3 mm. wide.

Type locality: Jamaica and tropical America.

Distribution: Cultivated in the West Indies and tropical America; its original habitat unknown.

Opuntia magnifolia Noronha (Verhandl, Batav. Genootsch. 54: 22. 1790), published without description, is referred to this species by Schumann and others. The name Opuntia mexicana, although it has been used for more than one species, first appeared in Pfeiffer's Enumeratio (p. 150. 1837) as a synonym of O. cochenillifera. Cactus subinermis Link (Steudel, Nom. ed. 2. 1: 246. 1840) is given as a synonym of Opuntia cochenillifera.

The specific name of this plant was given because it is one of the species of cactus from which cochineal was obtained. Cochineal was long supposed to be a vegetable product; it was not until 1703 that, by the aid of the microscope, it was definitely determined to be of insect origin. The cochineal industry is of prehistoric origin. The Spaniards found it well established when they conquered Mexico in 1518, and began at once to export the product. As early as 1523 Cortez was ordered to obtain and send to Spain as much as he possibly could, while during the early colonial days it was one of the chief articles of tribute to the crown. From Mexico and Peru the industry was taken to southern Spain, India, Algiers, South Africa, New Granada (Colombia), Jamaica, and the Canary Islands. The industry grew rapidly and was very profitable. The greatest source of the cochineal was probably the Canary Islands. In about the year 1868 more than 6,000,000 pounds, valued at $4,000,000, were exported from these islands alone, of which the largest part was sent to England.

The cochineal insects were placed on the joints or branches of the cactus plants, where they rapidly multiplied and in about four months were collected by brushing them off into baskets or bags. Then, after being dried in various ways, they became the cochineal of commerce. Two or three such collections were made each year.





1. Upper part of flowering joint of Nopalea cochenillifera.

2. Upper part of flowering joint of Nopalea auberi.

(All natural size.)

4. Fruit of Nopalea auberi.

5. Flowering joint of Nopalea dejecta.

The cactuses upon which the cochineal was raised were often grown in large plantations called nopalries, sometimes containing 50,000 plants in rows about 4 feet apart.

Since the introduction of the aniline dyes, the cochineal industry has almost disappeared. The cochineal colors, while brilliant and attractive, are not very permanent.

According to J. J. Johnson, this plant was introduced into cultivation in England, in 1688; but according to Ray it was growing in Chelsea before that time.

Illustrations: Hernandez, Nov. Pl. Hist. 78 and 479. f. 1. 1651, as Nopalnochetzli; Andrews, Bot. Rep. 8: pl. 533; Curtis's Bot. Mag. 54: pl. 2741, 2742; Descourtilz, Fl. Pict. Antilles 7: pl. 516, all as Cactus cochenillifer. Cycl. Amer. Hort. Bailey 1: 205. f. 308; Gard. Chron. III. 34: 92. f. 41; Pfeiffer and Otto, Abbild. Beschr. Cact. 1: pl. 24, all as Opuntia cochenillifera; Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. f. 3, as Opuntia coccifera; Dillenius, Hort. Elth. pl. 297, as tuna, etc.; Agr. Gaz. 25: pls. opp. p. 884; Amer. Garden 11: 457; Martius, Fl. Bras. 42: pl. 6o. Schumann Gesamtb. Kakteen 1. 109, B.

Plate iv, figure 1, shows a plant which flowered in the New York Botanical Garden in 1912.

2. Nopalea guatemalensis Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coil. 50: 330. 1907.

Tree-like, 5 to 7 meters high, branched, sometimes nearly to the base; joints bluish green, ovate to oblong, 15 to 20 cm. long; areoles numerous, filled with short white wool; spines 5 to 8, unequal, nearly or quite porrect, white or sometimes rose-colored, the longest 2.5 to 3 cm. long; leaves small, linear, reflexed; flower, including ovary, 5 to 6 cm. long; sepals ovate, thickened; petals red; fruit 4 to 5 cm. long, clavate, red, more or less tuberculate, deeply umbilicate, without prominent glochids; seeds irregular, 4 mm. broad.

Type locality: El Rancho, Guatemala. Distribution: Arid valleys of Guatemala.

Illustrations: Safford, Ann. Rep. Smiths. Inst. 1908: f. 13, 14; Smiths. Misc. Coil. 50: pl. 41, 42.

Figure 39 illustrates joints of a plant obtained from Frank Weinberg in 1910.

Fig. 39.—Nopalea guatemalensis. X0.4.

3. Nopalea lutea Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 405. 1909.

More or less arborescent, 5 meters high or less, with a short, definite trunk and several large, lateral, more or less spreading branches; joints obovate to elliptic or oblong, 10 to 22 cm. long, pale green, slightly glaucous; areoles about 2 cm. apart, large, filled with short brown wool; spines weak, yellow, acicular or bristle-like, the longest 4 cm. long; flowers 5 cm. long; petals red, 2 cm. long;

ovary with numerous prominent areoles filled with yellow bristles; fruit red, 4 cm. long; seeds 4 to 5 mm. in diameter.

Type locality: Near El Rancho, Guatemala. Distribution: Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

This species, although not discovered until 1907, is very common, extending from altitude 300 meters at El Rancho to altitude 1,100 meters near Aguas Calientes. According to Mr.

Fig. 41.—Nopalea dejecta.

Charles C. Deam, who has explored extensively in Guatemala, the plant when growing on river sand-bars is low, but in rich soil is tall.

Our reference of this species to Nicaragua is based on a specimen collected by A. S. Oersted in 1845-1848 between Granada and Tipitapa. The joints of this, however, are nearly orbicular or a little longer than broad, with numerous brown spines and glochids. More material may show that this specimen should be referred elsewhere.

Figure 40 shows a joint of a plant from Guatemala, received from F. Eichlam in 1911.

3a. Nopalea gaumeri sp. nov. (See Appendix, p. 216.)

4. Nopalea auberi (Pfeiffer) Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 64. 1850.

Opuntia auberi Pfeiffer, Allg. Gartenz. 8: 282. 1840.

Often 8 to 10 meters high, with a cylindric, jointed trunk, never very spiny, but the areoles bearing tufts of brown glochids; branches often at right angles to the stem; joints narrow, thick, 3 dm. long, bluish green and glaucous; areoles circular, about 2 mm. broad, bearing short white wool and later a tuft of brown glochids; spines, when present, 1 or 2, subulate, the upper one about twice as long as the other, white or nearly so, with brownish tips, the longest one 2 to 3 cm. long; flowers from base of ovary to tip of style about 9 cm. long; petals erect, closely embracing the stamens, rose-pink, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 2 to 3.5 cm. long; filaments 12 to 15 mm. longer than the petals, white below, but the exposed parts pinkish; anthers dehiscing before maturing of stigma; style stout, light pink with a large, white, circular disk just above the constricted base; stigma-lobes green; ovary 4 cm. long, with low but very distinct tubercles and a deep umbilicus, its areoles bearing many brown glochids, these sometimes 10 mm. long.

Fig. 42.—Nopalea dejecta. X0.33.

Fig. 43.—Nopalea karwinskiana. X0.5

Type locality: Erroneously cited as Cuba.

Distribution: Central and southern Mexico.

Illustration: Addisonia 1: pl. 10.

Plate iv, figure 2, represents a flowering joint of a plant obtained by W. K Safford at Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1907; figure 3 shows young fruit of the same plant; plate v is from a photograph taken by Dr. MacDougal near Mitla, Mexico, in 1906.

5. Nopalea dejecta Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 64. 1850.

Opuntia dejecta Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 361. 1834.

Plant 1 to 2 m. high, with a definite trunk, very spiny, the old areoles often bearing 6 or 8 spines; joints narrow, 10 to 15 cm. long, only moderately thick, often drooping, bright green even in age, bearing usually two somewhat spreading spines at an areole; spines at first pale yellow or pinkish, in age gray, the longest 4 cm. long; flower, including ovary and style, cm. long; sepals obtuse; petals erect, dark red; stamens long-exserted, dark red.

Type locality: Erroneously cited as Havana, Cuba.

Distribution: Common in cultivation in tropical America; perhaps native in Panama.

Opuntia dffusa and O. horizontalis are both given by Pfeiffer (Enum. Cact. 159. 1837) as synonyms of this species.

Illustrations: Agr. Gaz. N. S. W. 25: pl. opp. p. 138; Roig, Cact. Fl. Cub. pl. [6], this last as Nopalea auberi.

Plate iv, figure 4, shows a flowering joint of a plant obtained from Mr. S. F. Curtis in 1897. Figure 41 is from a photograph taken by Dr. Juan T. Roig in the Havana Botanical Garden, Cuba; figure 42 shows a joint of a plant collected by Mr. J. F. Cowell at Panama in 1905.

6. Nopalea karwinskiana (Salm-Dyck) Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 752. 1898.

Opuntia karwinskiana Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 239. 1850.

A tree, 2 meters high or more, with a definite jointed terete spiny trunk; joints oblong, 1.5 to 3 dm. long, light dull green, only slightly glaucous; leaves elongated, acute; areoles distant; spines 3 to 7 from an areole, porrect, 1 to 2 cm. long, pale yellow to nearly white; glochids yellow, numerous, caducous; flowers red, 11 to 12 cm. long; ovary deeply umbilicate, 3 cm. long.

Type locality: In Mexico. Distribution: Mexico.

Figs. 45, 46.—Flower of Tacinga funalis. X0.9. Figs. 47, 48.—Tacinga funalis. X0.6.

Figs. 45, 46.—Flower of Tacinga funalis. X0.9. Figs. 47, 48.—Tacinga funalis. X0.6.

This species was sent from Mexico by Karwinsky, who supposed it was an Opuntia. When described by Salm-Dyck in 1850 it had not flowered. It was re-collected by Edmund Kerber near Colima, Mexico, and flowered for the first time in cultivation in 1879.

Our description is drawn chiefly from a plant now in the New York Botanical Garden, obtained from M. Simon, of St. Ouen, Paris, France. In the original description it is stated that the young spines are 2 to 4 and rose-colored, but afterwards 18 to 20, gray and deflexed. O. nopalilla Karwinsky (Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 68. 1850) was first given as a synonym of this species.

Figure 43 represents a joint with young fruit, from a plant sent by M. Simon, St. Ouen, Paris, France, in 1901.

7. Nopalea inaperta Schott in Griffiths, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 23: 139. 1913.

Described as 5 to 7 meters high, but in cultivation much smaller, diffusely branched, often bush-like; trunk very spiny; terminal joints rather small, obovate, 6 to 17 cm. long, strongly tuber-culate, bright green; spines usually 3 to 6 at areoles of young joints, more at old ones, yellowish





Nopalea auberi as it grows near Mitla, Mexico.

Photograph by D. T. MacDougal.

brown, 2 cm. long or less; flowers rather small, including ovary and stamens 4 cm. long; filaments numerous, long-exserted; style much longer than the stamens; stigma-lobes 5, green; fruit small, red, 1.5 cm. long.

Type locality: In Yucatan, Mexico.

Distribution: Yucatan.

Dr. Griffiths states that he found this species in the Albert S. White Park, Riverside, California, in 1904. In the Bulletin of the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station No. 60 he describes and illustrates it, but without specific name. Later he identified it as the same as one of Schott's specimens from Yucatan, and then published it as above.

Dr. Griffiths compares it with N. auberi, but its nearest relative is N. karwinskiana, from which it differs in its smaller and more tuberculate joints and much smaller flowers.

Illustration: N. Mex. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 60: pl. 3, f. 1, as Nopalea.

Figure 44 shows a joint from a plant obtained by Dr. David Griffiths at Riverside.

4. TACINGA gen. nov.

Long, clambering or climbing cacti, more or less branched; old stems smooth, brown; branches faintly ribbed, terete; young branches green, each tipped with a tuft of long wool or soft hairs; areoles small but conspicuous, black, the margin giving off long, white, cobwebby hairs; leaves minute, soon deciduous, 3 to 4 mm. long; spines sometimes present, on young joints 2 or 3, reflexed, appressed, brown, 2 to 3 mm. long, not seen on old branches; glochids from the upper parts of the areoles, pale yellow, numerous, caducous, falling in showers at the slightest jarring of the branch; flower-buds acute; flowers usually terminal, opening in the evening or at night; ovary narrow, bearing numerous areoles, the umbilicus very deep; petals few, spreading or recurved; a row of hairs between the petals and the stamens; stamens and style erect, much longer than the petals; fruit oblong, the upper half sterile, bearing areoles but no spines; seeds nearly globular, white, covered with a bony aril.

This genus is intermediate between Opuntia and Nopalea, having the erect, non-sensitive stamens of the latter, and the areoles, leaves, and glochids of the former. From Opuntia it differs in its narrow, green, recurved petals, in having one or possibly more rows of hairs between the stamens and the petals, in the clambering or climbing habit, and its very caducous glochids.

Only one species is known, this a common and characteristic plant of the catinga* in Bahia, Brazil, whence the anagramatic name.

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