Opuntia galapageia Henslow Mag Zool and Bot 1 467 1837

Opuntia myriacantha Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 894. 1898.

Opuntia helleri Schumann in Robinson, Proc. Amer. Acad. 38: 180. 1902.

Opuntia insularis Stewart, Proc. Calif. Acad. IV. 1: 113. 1911.

Sometimes low and creeping, but often becoming very large, 5 to 10 meters high, with a large top either open or very compact and rounded; trunk at first very spiny and made up of flat joints set end to end, with the short axis of each joint at right angles to that of the adjacent joint, in time becoming terete, and when old nearly naked, 3 to 13 dm. in diameter; bark of old trunks smooth, brown, peeling off in thin layers; joints oblong to orbicular, usually very large, 1.5 to 3.5 dm. long, very spiny; areoles large, often prominent on the trunk, there especially forming knobs bearing numerous spines; spines extremely variable, but nearly all yellowish brown; areoles on young, vigorous plants very stout and rigid, very unequal, the longest 7 to 8 cm. long; joints of old plants bearing more or less pungent bristles or sometimes very weak soft hairs instead of spines, while the spines from the trunks often are very stout and sometimes 40 in a cluster; flowers yellow, 7.5 cm. broad; ovary more or less tuberculate; fruit greenish, sometimes borne in the ends of joints, more or less spiny; seeds large, 5 to 6 mm. broad, white, covered with soft hairs.

Type locality: Galápagos Islands.

Distribution: Very common, often forming forests, on the Galápagos Islands. We have here combined the four species reported from the Galápagos Islands, while Alban Stewart, in his admirable paper on the botany of these islands, not only recognizes four species, but describes a fifth without specific name. He also has fourteen full-page

Fig. 187.—O. brunnescens. X0.4. Fig. 188.—Fruit of O. brun nescens. X0.9.

Fig. 187.—O. brunnescens. X0.4. Fig. 188.—Fruit of O. brun nescens. X0.9.

illustrations showing fine habit views of the Galápagos Opuntia. The early descriptions of this species were very inaccurate and, as pointed out by Mr. Stewart, the characters assigned to its fruit are those of a Cereus-like plant. Mr. Stewart visited the Galápagos Islands in 1905-1906 and brought back a remarkable series of photographs and specimens. Through the kindness of Miss Alice Eastwood, Curator of Botany in the California Academy of Sciences, we have been able to study this material. It consists of about forty sheets of well-preserved joints with a few flowers and fruits. These, in connection with

Fig. 191.—Opuntia galapageia. X0.75.

the published illustrations, show a great range of variation in habit, armament of joints, and character of spines. While these differences are very marked, they are similar to what is sometimes met with in other opuntias, such as O. gosseliniana and O. leucotricha, or in certain Peruvian and Chilean types of Cereus relatives; indeed, in a number of cacti which live under intense desert influences, most diverse forms in the same species are often produced. The habit-character in this species seems to be of little value, according to Mr. Stewart himself, for he calls attention to procumbent and arborescent forms of O. galapageia, while the greatest range of spine characters is shown between the young plants and old ones and between the trunk and the joints. The specimen which Mr. Stewart has made the type of his Opuntia insularis is quite different from all the others, and yet one can easily believe that intergrades could be found; his species is described without flowers or fruit. Mr. Stewart states that this Opuntia forms the principal article of food for the Galápagos land tortoise. Its trunk becomes thicker than that of any other known species of the genus.

Illustrations: Gard. Chron. III. 24: f. 75; Mag. Zool. and Bot. 1: pl. 1, f. 2; Proc. Calif. Acad. IV. 1: pl. 7, f. 2; pl. 8; pl. 9, f. 2; pl. 10 to 12. Gard. Chron. Ser. III. 27: f. 56; Proc. Calif. Acad. IV. 1: pl. 7, f. 1; pl. 13, f. 2; pl. 16 to 18, all as Opuntia myriacantha. Proc. Calif. Acad. IV. 1: pl. 13, f. 1; pl. 14, the last two as Opuntia helleri. Proc. Calif. Acad. IV. 1: pl. 9, f. 1; pl. 15, the last two as Opuntia insularis.

Figure 189 represents a joint of the plant collected by Robert E. Snodgrass and Edmund Heller on Wenman Island, Galápagos, on the Hopkins-Stanford Expedition (type of Opuntia helleri Schumann), drawn from the herbarium specimen in the Gray Herbarium; figure 190 is of a flower of the same plant; figure 191 is from a photograph of an herbarium specimen collected by Alban Stewart.

155. Opuntia delaetiana Weber in Vaupel, Blühende Kakteen 3: pl. 148. 1913.

Opuntia elata delaetiana Weber in Gosselin, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 10: 392. 1904.

Joints oblong, 25 cm. long, 8 cm. broad, bright green, at first thin and spineless, the margin strongly undulate; areoles large, bearing 3 to 5 straight, rose-colored or yellowish brown spines up to 4 cm. long; leaves subulate, about mm. long; glochids wanting in young areoles, later appearing numerous and brown; flower-buds rounded at the apex; outer sepals orbicular, obtuse, red; flower rotate, 5 to 7 cm. broad, orange-colored; stigma-lobes white; fruit oblong or pyriform, red, 5 to 7 cm. long, 3 to 5 cm. in thickness.

Type locality: Paraguay.

Distribution: Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.

The plant was collected by Dr. Thomas Morong at Asunción, Paraguay, in 1888, and referred in his list of plants collected in Paraguay (Annal. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 7: 121. 1892) to O. nigricans Haworth; Dr. Shafer found it in 1917 in waste places and in hedge-rows about Concordia and Posados, Argentina. This species may more properly belong in our series Elatae than in Elatiores.

Illustration: Blühende Kakteen 3: pl. 148.

Figure 192 is copied from the illustration above cited.

156. Opuntia bergeriana Weber in Berger, Gard. Chron.

Growing singly or in dense thickets, often 1 to 3.5 meters high and having a trunk 3 to 4 dm. in diameter, with a large, spreading top, or clambering over walls and rocks; joints narrowly oblong, sometimes 2.5 cm. Fig. 192.—Opuntia delaetiana.

long, when young often quite narrow, bright green, but becoming dull and somewhat glaucous; areoles rather distant, on old joints 2 to 4 cm. apart, filled with short gray wool; spines 2 or 3, rarely 5, unequal, the longest one 3 to 4 cm. long and somewhat flattened, more or less brownish at base, sometimes yellowish, porrect, or somewhat turned downward; leaves 2 to 3 mm. long, fugacious; glochids yellow but sometimes turning brown, rather prominent, forming a half circle in the upper part of the areole; areoles circular, when young filled with light brown wool in the center and white in the outer region; flowers numerous, showy, deep red

2. Flowering joint of Opuntia elatior. 4, 5. Joints of Opuntia elata.

(All natural size.)

2. Flowering joint of Opuntia elatior. 4, 5. Joints of Opuntia elata.

(All natural size.)

some joints bearing 20 or more; petals 2.5 cm. long, mucronate; filaments numerous, scarlet-rose; stigma-lobes 6, green; fruit small, 3 to 4 cm. long, red, not edible; seeds few, flattened, mm. broad.

Type locality: Described from cultivated specimens.

Distribution: Not known in the wild state, but now very common on the Riviera, northern Italy, forming large thickets.

Mr. Berger would place this species next to O. nigricans, which we now call O. elatior. This species was named for Alwin Berger, formerly curator of the Hanbury Garden at La Mortola, Italy, who sent material to the late Dr. Weber, from which the species was described. The species is quite common on the Riviera and has run wild in many places, especially about Bordighera, Italy. It produces a great abundance of flowers in May, but blooms more or less throughout the year.

Opuntia ledienii (Berger, Hort. Mortol. 233. 1912), unpublished, is referred here.

Illustrations: Gard. Chron. III. 35: f. 14; Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 16: 156.

Plate xxvi, figure 1, represents a flowering joint of a plant sent from La Mortola, Italy, to the New York Botanical Garden in 1906.

157. Opuntia elatior Miller, Gard. Dict. ed. 8. No. 4. 1768.

Cactus nigricans Haworth, Misc. Nat. 187. 1803.

Opuntia nigricans Haworth, Syn. Pl. Succ. 189. 1812.

Cactus elatior Willdenow, Enum. Hort. Berol. Suppl. 34. 1813.

Cactus tuna nigricans Sims, Curtis's Bot. Mag. 38: pl. 1557. 1813.

Cactus tuna elatior Sims, Curtis's Bot. Mag. 38: under pl. 1557. 1813.

Cactuspseudococcinellifer Bertoloni, Excerpta Herb. Bonon. 11. 1820.

Plants densely bushy-branched, up to 5 meters high; joints obovate to oblong or suborbicular, olive-green, I to 2 dm. or even 4 dm. long; leaves 4 mm. long, green with reddish tips; areoles 2 to 4 cm. apart; spines 2 to 8, acicular, mostly terete, dark brown, 2 to 4 cm. or even 7 cm. long; flowers about 5 cm. broad; petals dark yellow striped with red or sometimes salmon-rose, with mucronate tips; filaments numerous, pink or red; style nearly white; stigma-lobes 5, green; ovary ovoid, deeply umbilicate, its areoles either with or without spines; fruit obovoid, truncate when mature, reddish, the pulp dark red; seeds about 4 mm. broad.

Type locality: Unknown.

Distribution: Common or frequent in Curaçao, Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama, escaped from cultivation in Australia. O. nigricans has been referred to Mexico, but doubtless wrongly, unless cultivated there. Plants brought by Dr. Howe from Tobogilla Island, Panama, have narrowly obovate joints.

The early history of this species and its various synonyms are rather confusing. Dillenius figured Opuntia elatior and this name was taken up by Miller in 1768. There is some doubt as to its native home, but it probably came from northern South America, or possibly Curaçao. Opuntia nigricans, also referred here, was described by Haworth from cultivated specimens; plate 1557 of Curtis's Botanical Magazine was made from Haworth's specimen and may be considered typical.

Introduced into cultivation in Europe about 1793.

Illustrations: Loudon, Encycl. pl. ed. 3. f. 6877, as Cactus elatior; Curtis's Bot. Mag. 38: pl. 1557, this last as Cactus tuna nigricans; Dillenius, Hort. Elth. pl. 294, this as Tuna elatior, etc.; Agr. Gaz. N. S. W. 23: pl. opp. 208; pl. opp. 210, both these as Opuntia nigricans; Journ. Hort. Home Farm. III. 60: 30, this as Opuntia occidentalis.

Plate xxvi, figure 2, shows a flowering joint of a specimen obtained by Dr. Britton and Dr. Shafer in Curaçao in 1913.

158. Opuntia hanburyana Weber in Berger, Gard. Chron. III. 35: 34. 1904.

Bushy, 1 to 2 meters high, somewhat straggling; joints narrowly oblong, about 3 dm. long, bright green; leaves subulate, to 5 mm. long; areoles closely set, filled with brown or blackish wool; spines several, spreading, acicular, somewhat flattened and twisted, yellowish brown, the longest 3 cm. long; flowers widely spreading, rather small; fruit small.

Type locality: Described from cultivated plants.

Distribution: Not known in the wild state.

The species commemorates Sir Thomas Hanbury, who, through his extensive garden at La Mortola, Italy, contributed much to botany and horticulture. Illustration: Gard. Chron. III. 35: f. 15.

Figure 193 represents joints of the plant sent from La Mortola, Italy, in 1913.

159. Opuntia quitensis Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 894. 1898.

Bushy, sometimes 2 meters high; joints obovate, 1 to 4 dm. long, 8 to 9 cm. broad; areoles small, distant, 2 cm. apart, bearing some white tomentum and short glochids; spines wanting, or

1 to 3, sometimes as many as 4 on old joints, straight, yellowish brown, or nearly white when young, acicular, somewhat flexuous,

2 to 3 cm. long; leaves green, minute, acute; flowers red, 12 to 15 mm. broad; petals erect, obtuse; anthers white; style white, short and thick; stigma-lobes 13, white, about as long as the style; fruit obovoid, red, nearly spineless, about 2 cm. long; seeds about 3 cm. broad.

ig. 193.—O. hanburyana. X0.5.
g. 194.—O. quitensis. X0.5.

Type locality: Near Quito, Ecuador.

Distribution: Ecuador.

As observed by Dr. Rose in Ecuador in 1918, this species is very variable in habit, for when grown in the open it is low and bushy with rather small joints, but when growing in thickets it becomes tall and has large joints. About Huigra, where it is very common, it is often spineless, and when the spines are present they are few and weak. In southern Ecuador there is a plant which has small, red flowers like this species, but the joints have stout subulate spines.

Figure 194 represents a joint of a plant obtained in 1901 for the New York Botanical Garden from M. Simon, of St. Ouen, Paris, France.

159a. Opuntia soederstromiana sp. nov. (See Appendix, p. 221.)

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