Cereus imbricatus Haworth, Rev. Pl. Succ. 70. 1821.
Cactus cylindricus James, Cat. 182. 1825. Not Lamarck. 1783.
Cactus bleo Torrey, Ann. Lyc. N. Y. 2: 202. 1828. Not Humboldt, Bonpland, and Kunth. 1823. Opuntia rosea De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 471. 1828.
Opuntia decipiens De Candolle, Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 118. 1828. Opuntia exuviata De Candolle, Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 118. 1828. Opuntia exuviata angustior De Candolle, Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 118. 1828. Opuntia exuviata spinosior De Candolle, Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 118. 1828. Opuntia exuviata stellata Lemaire, Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 67. 1839. Opuntia exuviata viridior Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 48. 1845. Opuntia arborescens Engelmann in Wislizenus, Mem. Tour North. Mex. 90. 1848. Opuntia imbricata crassior Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 249. 1850.
Opuntia imbricata ramosior Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 73. 1850.
Opuntia imbricata tenuior Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 73. 1850.
Opuntia vexans Griffiths, Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 22: 28. 1912.
Opuntia magna Griffiths, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 27: 23. 1914.
Opuntia spinotecta Griffiths, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 27: 24. 1914.
Tree-like, often 3 meters high or higher, with a more or less definite woody trunk 2.5 cm. in diameter; ultimate joints 2 to 3 cm. in diameter, strongly tuberculate; leaves 8 to 24 mm. long, terete; tubercles 2 to 2.5 cm. long, flattened laterally; spines 8 to 30, 2 to 3 cm. long, brown, covered with papery sheaths; flowers borne at ends of branches, 4 to 6 cm. long, sometimes 8 to 9 cm. broad, purple; ovary tuberculate, bearing a few bristles from some of the upper areoles; fruit naked, yellow, 2.5 to 3 cm. long, strongly tuberculate or, when long persistent, smooth; seeds 2.5 to 3.5 mm. in diameter.
Type locality: Unknown; introduced into England by Loddiges in 1820.
Distribution: Central Colorado to Texas, New Mexico, and central Mexico.
The plant is hardy in southwestern Kansas, and has been recorded as a native of that State; it has existed through three winters out of doors at the New York Botanical Garden, but has made little growth.
We have followed Schumann and Weber in uniting Opuntia arborescens and O. imbricata. As thus treated, the species has a wide geographic distribution, and in our view consists of many slightly differing races. In its northern limits it is much smaller than in its southern range.
Opuntia cristata tenuior Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 49. 1845, name only), O. decipiens major Hort. in Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 49. 1845, as synonym), O. cristata Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 50. 1842), and O. stellata Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 50. 1842) are unpublished names. O. ruthei is a garden name mentioned by Berger.
Opuntia exuviata major (Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 49. 1845) is an unpublished name.
Opuntia cardenche Griffiths (Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 19: 259. pl. 21, in part. 1908) is described as standing between Opuntia kleiniae and O. imbricata, being stouter than the
one and more slender than the other. It resembles very closely specimens collected by Dr. Rose at Ixmiquilpan, Mexico, in 1905, which we have referred to O. kleiniae.
Opuntia galeottii de Smet (Miquel, Nederl. Kruidk. Arch. 4: 337. 1858) and O. costigera Miquel (Nederl. Kruidk. Arch. 4: 338. 1858), if really from Mexico, may belong here, but the descriptions are indefinite. Dr. Schumann did not know them.
Opuntia mendocienses (Cat. Darrah Succ. Manchester 56. 1908) is said to be "probably only a form of O. imbricata."
Opuntia undulata Link and Otto (Verh. Ver. Beförd. Gartenb. 6: 434. 1830) was not published. According to Pfeiffer, it is the same as O. exuviata, which we refer here.
Opuntia decipiens minor (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 172. 1837) is unpublished.
Cactus subquadrifolius Mociflo and Sesse (De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 471. 1828) was given as a synonym of Opuntia rosea and therefore belongs here.
Illustrations: Agr. Gaz. N. S. W. 22: pl. opp. p. 696; Bull. U. S. Dept. Agr. 31: pl. 5; pl. 6, f. 1; Cact. Mex. Bound. pl. 73, f. 7, 8; Curtis's Bot. Mag. 135: pl. 8290; N. Mex. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 60: pl. 7, f. 2; Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. f. 134; Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: pl. 15; W. Watson, Cact. Cult. f. 85, the last three as Opuntia rosea. W. Watson, Cact. Cult. f. 8, in part, this as Opuntia decipiens. Ann. Rep. Bur. Amer. Ethn. 26: pl. 8, f. a; Cact. Mex. Bound. pl. 75, f. 16, 17; Gard. Chron. III. 34: 1. 36; Gard. and For. 9: f. 1; Illustr. Fl. 2: f. 2533 ed. 2. 2: f. 2992; N. Mex. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 78: pl. ; Pac. R. Rep. 4: pl. 17, f. 5, 6; pl. 18, f. 4; pl. 24, f. 12; Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 22: pl. 7, in part; all as Opuntia arborescens. Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 22: pl. 6, 7, in part, these two as Opuntia vexans.
Plate xi, figure 1, represents a joint of a plant collected by W. L. Bray in western Texas. Figure 79 is from a photograph taken by Professor F. E. Lloyd in Zacatecas. Mexico, in 1908.
27. Opuntia tunicata (Lehmann) Link and Otto in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 170. 1837.
Cactus tunicatus Lehmann, Ind. Sem. Hort. Hamb. 6. 1827. Opuntia stapeliae De Candolle, Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 117. 1828. Opuntia hystrix Grisebach, Cat. Pl. Cub. 117. 1866. Opuntiaperrita Griffiths, Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 22: 3. 1912.
Very variable, sometimes low and spreading from the base and forming broad clumps, at other times 5 to 6 dm. high, with a more or less definite woody stem and numerous lateral branches; joints easily detached, sometimes short and nearly globular to narrowly oblong, 10 to 15 cm. long, strongly tuberculate; spines reddish, normally 6 to i0, elongated, 4 to 5 cm. long, covered with thin, white, papery sheaths; flowers 3 cm. long, yellow; petals obtuse; ovary often bearing long spines at the areoles, but usually naked.
Type locality: In Mexico.
Distribution: Highlands of central Mexico; also in Ecuador, Peru, and northern Chile. Opuntia stapeliae has long puzzled collectors and students of cacti. We are convinced now that it is only starved or stunted greenhouse specimens of the common O. tunicata. When grown in cultivation, O. tunicata takes on abnormal shapes, for the joints, which break off easily, rarely grow to their full size. In its native home many small dwarf plants are found everywhere about the larger plants. We have discussed this explanation of O. stapeliae with Mr. A. Berger, and he agrees with our conclusion.
No specimens of the type of O. stapeliae are preserved in the De Candolle Herbarium. The plant figured as Opuntia stapeliae (?) by Goebel in Pflanzenbiologische (f. 36) does not belong here. It is erect, has strongly tuberculate joints, very short spines and narrow elongated leaves.
Cereus tunicatus (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 170. 1837) is given as a synonym of Opuntia tunicata, but has never been formally taken up.
We believe Opuntia hystrix Grisebach, collected by C. Wright in Cuba, belongs here, probably being an escape from a garden. Dr. Rose examined the specimens in the Krug and Urban Herbarium in Berlin in i9i2; the loose sheaths of the spines of these specimens are now brown, while the flowers seemed a little smaller than those of the Mexican specimens. The flowers were described as red.
Opuntia furiosa Wendland (Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 170. 1837) referred to O. tunicata by Pfeiffer, while Salm-Dyck refers it to his variety O. tunicata laevior (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849.
Illustrations: Bull. U. S. Dept. Agr. 31: pl. 4; Cact. Journ. 1: October; The Garden 62: 425; Safford, Ann. Rep. Smiths. Inst. 1908: pl. 10, f. 5; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 2; Rep. Mo. Bot. Gard. 22: pl. 13, 14, these two as Opuntia perrita.
Plate x, figure 1, represents a joint of a plant collected by Dr. Rose near Cuzco, Peru. Figure 80 is from a photograph of the same plant.
28. Opuntia pallida Rose, Smiths. Misc. Coil. 50: 507. 1908.
Stems 5 cm. in diameter, about i meter high, with widely spreading branches, the whole plant often broader than high; old areoles very spiny, often bearing 20 spines or more, often 3 to 4 cm. long, with white, papery sheaths; young areoles bearing few spines; ovary tuberculate, the areoles either naked or bearing a few bristly spines; flowers pale rose-colored; petals i5 mm. long.
Type locality: Near Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico. Distribution: State of Hidalgo, Mexico.
This species is known only from near Tula, Mexico, where it was discovered by Dr. J. N. Rose in i905, and afterwards collected near the same station by Mr. K W. Nelson. It grows interspersed with O. imbricata, but is much lower in stature and has smaller leaves and lighter-colored flowers. It is much like O. tunicata, but that species has yellow flowers and is always smaller.
Illustration: Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 10: pl. 17, a. Figure 81 is from a photograph of the type specimen.
29. Opuntia molesta Brandegee, Proc. Cal. Acad. II. 2: 164. 1889.
Stems 1 to 2 meters high, or in cultivation only 6 dm. high, with few, long, spreading branches; joints clavate to subcylindric, 10 to 40 cm. long, sometimes as much as 4 cm. in diameter at the
1. Joint of Opuntia tunicata. 2 to 5. Joints of Opuntia spinosior.
(All natural size.)
top, pale green, with low, broad tubercles, these elongated and often 4 cm. long or more; leaves linear, 10 mm. long or less; spines few, 6 to 10, unequal, the longest ones 2.5 to 5 cm. long, straw-colored, with loose, papery sheaths; flowers purple, 5 cm. in diameter; fruit ovoid, 2.5 cm. long, somewhat spiny or naked; seeds 6 mm. in diameter, irregular in shape.
Type locality: San Ignacio, Lower California.
Distribution: Lower California.
The type of the species is deposited in the Brandegee Herbarium, now a part of the herbarium of the University of California. Living plants have been distributed by A. Berger from La Mortola, Italy, and are now to be found in various collections.
In the Index Kewensis, first supplement, this species is wrongly entered as Opuntia modestal
Figure 82 is from a photograph of a plant sent from La Mortola, Italy, to the New York Botanical Garden in 1913.
Much branched, bushy plants, usually with the terminal joints very fleshy, the tubercles broad and low, about as broad as long. The species, of which we recognize five, inhabit the southwestern United States and western Mexico.
Was this article helpful?
You Might Just End Up Spending More Time In Planning Your Greenhouse Than Your Home Don’t Blame Us If Your Wife Gets Mad. Don't Be A Conventional Greenhouse Dreamer! Come Out Of The Mould, Build Your Own And Let Your Greenhouse Give A Better Yield Than Any Other In Town! Discover How You Can Start Your Own Greenhouse With Healthier Plants… Anytime Of The Year!