Opuntia ficusindica Linnaeus Miller Gard Dict ed 8 No 2 1768

Cactus ficus-indica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 468. 1753

Cactus opuntia Gussone, Fl. Sic. Prodr. 559 18278. Not Linnaeus.

Opuntia vulgaris Tenore, Syll. Fl. Neap. 239. 1831.

Not Miller.

Opuntia ficus-barbarica Berger, Monatsschr.

Kakteenk. 22: 181. 1912.

Large and bushy or sometimes erect and treelike and then with a definite woody trunk up to 5 meters high, usually with a large top; joints oblong to spatulate-oblong, usually 3 to 5 cm. long, sometimes even larger; areoles small, usually spineless; glochids yellow, numerous, soon dropping off; leaves subulate, green, 3 mm. long; flowers large, normally bright yellow, 7 to 10 cm. broad; ovary 5 cm. long; fruit normally red, edible, 5 to 9 cm. long, with a low, depressed umbilicus.

Type locality: Tropical America.

Distribution: Native home not known, but now found all over the tropics and subtropics either as cultivated plants or as escapes. It is hardy in Bermuda and Florida.

This cactus is widely cultivated in all tropical and subtropical countries, where it is grown for its fruits and for forage. It has run wild in many waste places along the Mediterranean Sea, about the Red Sea, in southern Africa, and in Mexico.

We have not attempted to list the many named garden varieties of this species, which are sometimes Latin and sometimes English in form.

Opuntia amyclaea ficus-indica (Berger, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 15: 154. 1905) has never been described.

The origin of this common, cultivated species doubtless dates back to prehistoric times. We have long been convinced that it is a close relative of the Streptacanthae, and have kept it out of that series as only a matter of convenience. Mr. A. Berger believed it to be a spineless form of O. amyclaea, which is now a well-established species in certain parts of Italy. Dr. Griffiths has recently figured a reversion which appeared on the common spineless

form which points very definitely to O. megacantha as the origin of this form. (See Reversion in Prickly Pears, Journ. Hered. 5: 222. 1914.)

Illustrations: Amer. Garden 11: 471; Bull. U. S. Dept. Agr. 31: pl. 1; pl. 2, f. 1; Cycl. Amer. Hort. Bailey 3: f. 1543; Dept. Agr. N. S. W. Misc. Publ. 253: pl. [1] f. 1, 3; Diet. Gard. Nicholson 2: f. 753; Dodon. Pempt. f. 10, 11; Lemaire, Cact. f. 10; Meehan's Monthly 10: 28; Mem. Acad. Neap. 6: pl. 1, 2; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 15: 151; W. Watson, Cact. Cult. f. 8, in part; f. 80.

Fig 2I7.—Opuntia ficus-indica, Córdoba, Argentina.

Figure 217 is from a photograph of the plant growing at Córdoba, Argentina, taken by Paul G. Russell in 1915; figure 218 represents the fruit, obtained in Bermuda by Dr. Britton in 1913.

Fig 2I7.—Opuntia ficus-indica, Córdoba, Argentina.

Figure 217 is from a photograph of the plant growing at Córdoba, Argentina, taken by Paul G. Russell in 1915; figure 218 represents the fruit, obtained in Bermuda by Dr. Britton in 1913.

197. Opuntia crassa Haworth, Suppl. Pl. Succ. 81. 1819.

Opuntiaparvula Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 364. 1834. Opuntia crassa major Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 153. 1837. Opuntia glauca Forbes, Hort. Tour Germ. 158. 1837.

Plant 1 to 2 meters high, somewhat branched; joints ovate to oblong, 8 to 12.5 cm. long, thick, bluish green, glaucous; areoles bearing brown wool and brown glochids; spines wanting or sometimes 1 or 2, acicular, 2.5 cm. long or less; flowers and fruit unknown.

Type locality: Described from cultivated specimens supposed to have come from Mexico.

Distribution: Unknown in the wild state; locally found in cultivation in tropical America.

Haworth, who first described this species, thought it to be near O. stricta. Pfeiffer (Enum. Cact. 153. 1837) uses O. glaberrima Hort. Berol. as a synonym of O. crassa major.

Opuntia parvula, when first published, was supposed to be native RG.^i^—Fruit of Opmtia of Chile, but this was a mistake. Salm-Dyck compared the species with O. crassa and O. spinulifera, but says it is thrice smaller than either. Schumann refers O. parvula directly to O. crassa, which disposition we follow.

Figure 219 is from a photograph of a plant in the Organ Mountains, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, taken by Paul G. Russell in 1915.

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