Opuntia pittieri sp nov

Plant up to 5 meters high, with a rather definite cylindric spiny trunk; joints large, 25 to 50 cm. long, 2 to 4 times as long as wide, narrowly oblong, green; leaves subulate, with purple tips; wool in young areoles dark brown to purple; areoles elevated, rather large, 2 to 3 cm. apart; spines 3 to 6, slightly spreading, acicular, white, the longest 2 to 2.5 cm. long; glochids tardily developing, few, often wanting; flowers deep orange, turning to scarlet; ovary nearly globular, more or less spiny, nearly truncate at apex.

Collected at Venticas del Dagua, Dagua Valley, western cordillera of Colombia, February 1906, by H. Pittier, and since grown in Washington and New York.

Opuntia pittieri differs from O. inaequilateralis in having the young joints thinner, somewhat tuberculate, and with longer leaves; the areoles, too, are filled with brown or purple wool, while the glochids develop more slowly or never appear. Figure 232 represents a joint of the type plant.

211. Opuntia cordobensis Spegazzini, Anal. Mus. Nac. Buenos Aires III. 4: 513. 1905.

Much branched, the trunk 1 to 2 meters long, 20 cm. in diameter, very spiny; joints large, 3 dm. long or more, broadly oblong to obovate; areoles prominent, numerous; spines 1 to 6, white, somewhat spreading, a little flattened and twisted; flowers usually on the margins of the joints; petals about 12, yellow; fruit pyriform, yellowish both within and without, 8 cm. long; seeds about 3 mm. long.

211. Opuntia cordobensis Spegazzini, Anal. Mus. Nac. Buenos Aires III. 4: 513. 1905.

Much branched, the trunk 1 to 2 meters long, 20 cm. in diameter, very spiny; joints large, 3 dm. long or more, broadly oblong to obovate; areoles prominent, numerous; spines 1 to 6, white, somewhat spreading, a little flattened and twisted; flowers usually on the margins of the joints; petals about 12, yellow; fruit pyriform, yellowish both within and without, 8 cm. long; seeds about 3 mm. long.

Fig. 232.—O. pittieri. X0.4. Fig. 234.—Fruit of O. cordobensis. X0.7. Fig. 233.—O. cordobensis. X0.4.

Type locality: Near Córdoba, Argentina.

Distribution: Northern Argentina.

The only white-spined species observed by Dr. Rose in 1915 about Córdoba were O. ficus-indica, in cultivation, and what we have taken to be O. cordobensis. The latter is very abundant, growing on the hills about the city, and sometimes planted as hedges. Dr. Spegazzini states that it has the habit of O. labouretiana.

Figure 233 represents a joint of the plant collected by Dr. Rose near Córdoba, Argentina, in 1915; figure 234 represents the fruit as collected by J. A. Shafer at Calilegua, Argentina, in 1917 (No. 197).

212. Opuntia quimilo Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen 746. 1898.

Much branched, about 4 meters high; joints large, elliptic or obovate, 5 dm. long by 2.5 dm. broad, 2 to 3 cm. thick, grayish green; spines very long, usually 1, sometimes 2 or 3 from an areole, twisted, 7 to 14.5 cm. long; flowers red, 7 cm. broad; fruit pear-shaped to globular, 5 to 7 cm. long, greenish yellow; seeds 8 mm. broad, 1.5 to 2 mm. thick, with broad, thick, white margins.

Type locality: La Banda, Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Distribution: Northern Argentina.

This plant is known to the natives as quimilo.

Dr. Rose obtained a good photograph of it from Dr. J. A. Dominguez, and seed and a photograph from Dr. Spegazzini. While the volume was going through the press a fine specimen in fruit with the long spines so characteristic of this species was obtained by H.

M. Curran at Quilino, Córdoba, Argentina. Dr. Shafer's specimens collected at Río Piedras, show that the trunk-areoles sometimes bear as many as eight spines.

Fig 236.—Fruit of Opuntia quimilo. X0.3.

Fig 236.—Fruit of Opuntia quimilo. X0.3.

Figure 235 represents a joint obtained by Dr. Shafer at Río Piedras, Salta, Argentina, January 4, 1917 (No. 34); figure 236 represents the fruit from the same plant; figure 237 is from a photograph of a flowering joint of the plant, contributed by Dr. Spegazzini.

The following may belong to this series:

Opuntia ithypetala Griffiths, Bull. Torr. Club 43: 529. 1916.

Tall, erect plant, 2 meters or more high; joints large, obovate, 26 to 45 cm. long, 14 to 19 cm. broad, much contracted below, bright dark green, somewhat tuberculate at the areoles; subulate, 5 to 6 mm. long; areoles large, often 1 cm. in diameter, to 5 cm. apart; spines white at least on second year's growth, 3 to 5; central spine largest, porrect, 3 to 4 cm. long; flowers yellow, fading to rose-purplish; petals erect, 3 cm. in diameter; style white; stigma-lobes 6, light green.

Known only from cultivated plants received from the Berlin Botanical Garden.

Series 22. ROBUSTAE.

Tall or large plants with blue or bluish green joints, the spines, when present, white or yellowish. Two of the species are widely distributed in warm regions through cultivation for their edible fruits; the other is known in cultivation only in central Mexico. All are presumably Mexican in origin.

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