Opuntia mortolensis sp nov

Slender, 6 dm. high or less, dull green, with dark blotches below the areoles, the ultimate twigs short, sometimes only 2 cm. long, 4 to 5 mm. thick, scarcely tuberculate; leaves ovate to ovate-subulate, 2 to 4 mm. long, green, with acute bronze-colored tips; young areoles with numerous, early deciduous, weak white hairs sometimes longer than the leaves, and several brown glochids; areoles of old branches with solitary acicular spines 3 to 5 cm. long, these with tightly fitting brownish sheaths; flowers and fruit unknown.

Described from No. 25360, New York Botanical Garden, received from the garden of Sir Thomas Hanbury, La Mortola, Italy, in 1906. Mr. Berger has referred this specimen to Opuntia leptocaulis longispina, but this was considered by Dr. Engelmann as the "usual western form" of O. leptocaulis.

An herbarium specimen collected by Rose, Standley, and Russell at Empalme, Sonora, Mexico, March 11, 1910 (No. 12644), appears to be referable to this species.

The short leaves and long-hairy young areoles appear to distinguish this plant from O. leptocaulis.

Illustration: Gard. Chron. III. 34: f. 37, as Opuntia leptocaulis longispina.

Plate vi, figure 1, represents a branch of a plant sent from La Mortola, Italy, in 1906; figure 2 shows a leafy twig of the same plant.

Continue reading here: Opuntia leptocaulis De Candolle Mem Mus Hist Nat Paris 17 118 1828

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