Opuntia nigrita Griffiths, Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 21: 169. 1910. ? Opuntia cretochaeta Griffiths, Proe. Biol. Soe. Washington 29: 11. 1916.
A tall, much branched plant, but in cultivation often only 1 meter high; joints oblong to obovate, 20 to 30 em. long, pale green, but when young bright green; spines on young joints single, porreet, and aeeompanied by 2 or 3, sometimes many, white, slightly pungent hairs; spines on old joints 4 to
*perhaps Zacualpan, in Vera Cruz, Mexico.
6 (in the original description 8 to 10), somewhat spreading or appressed, 1 to 2 cm. long; glochids few, brownish; areoles small, 1.5 cm. apart; leaves small, brownish; flowers red; fruit globular, yellowish, its areoles filled with long, weak glochids; umbilicus broad, only slightly depressed.
Type locality: In Mexico.
Distribution: Oaxaca, Mexico.
This species is very near Opuntia streptacantha, and in many cases it is difficult to separate them. It is also near O. pilfera, but the areoles are not so hairy. Weber, who first described it, gives no definite locality for the species; but Dr. Rose has examined, at La Mortola, Italy, a living plant sent by Weber which seems to be the same as one of the large opuntias from Tehuacán, Mexico.
Opuntia chavena Griffiths (Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 1: 264. pl. 23, in part. 1908) is a near relative of O. hyptiacantha or not distinct from it.
Illustration: Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 21: pl. 24, as Opuntia nigrita.
Figure 224 represents a joint of a plant obtained for the New York Botanical Garden from the collection of M. Simon, St. Ouen, Paris, France, in 1901.
204. Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire, Cact. Gen Nov. Sp. 62. 1839.
Much branched, up to 5 meters high, sometimes with a trunk 45 cm. in diameter; joints obovate to orbicular, 25 to 30 cm. long, dark green; areoles small, rather close together for this group; spines numerous, spreading or some of them appressed, white; glochids reddish brown, very short; flowers
7 to 9 cm. broad, yellow to orange, the sepals reddish; filaments greenish or reddish; stigma-lobes 8 to 12, green; fruit globular, 5 cm. in diameter, dull red or sometimes yellow, both within and without.
Type locality: Not cited.
Distribution: Very common on the Mexican table-lands, especially on the deserts of San
Luis Potosí fig. 225.—Opuntia streptacantha. X0.5.
This species is known as tuna cardona or nopal cardón, and is one of the most important economic opuntias in Mexico. It has many forms and seems to grade into some of the species which we have here recognized.
Opuntia cardona Weber (Dict. Hort. Bois 895. 1898) and O. coindettii Weber (Dict. Hort. Bois 895. 1898) are two names given as synonyms of the species by Weber, but they were never published. O. diplacantha (Berger, Hort. Mortol. 232. 1912) must be referred here, but of this, so far as we know, there is no published description. Berger has distributed living specimens which we are inclined to refer here.
Opuntia pachona Griffiths (Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 21: 168. pl. 22. 1910) is closely related to O. streptacantha, if not a race of that species. Opuntia megacantha tenuispina Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 45. 1845) was given as a new name for O. lasiacantha, but was never described.
Illustrations: N. Mex. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 60: pl. 1; Safford, Ann. Rep. Smiths. Inst. 1908: pl. 9, f. 6; U. S. Dept. Agr. Bur. Pl. Ind. Bull. 1021: pl. 1; 116: pl. 1, this last as tuna cardona; Engler and Prantl, Pflanzenfam. 36a: f. 70, this last as Opuntia pseudotuna.
Figure 225 represents a joint of a plant received from C. Wercklé in 1902 as O. cardona.
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