Opuntia candelabriformis Martius in Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 159. 1837.
Opuntia oligacantha Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 241. 1850.
Tall, much branched plants; joints orbicular, to oblong, sometimes obovate, 20 to 30 cm. long, glabrous, a little glaucous; leaves small, red, 4 to 6 mm. long; areoles on young joints usually small, sometimes longer than broad, the margin at first bordered with cobwebby hairs, afterwards short white hairs, either spineless or with short white bristle-like spines; areoles on old joints more or less sunken, rather close together; spines on old joints 1 to 3, 1 to 2 cm. long, subulate, bone-colored.
Type locality: In Mexico.
We have seen no wild specimens of this species, but Mr. Berger has grown it at La Mortola, Italy, and has distributed specimens now growing in New York and Washington.
So-called Opuntia candelabriformis and O. oligacantha are also in cultivation; but the original descriptions indicate that these two species should be merged into O. spinulifera, and plants so determined in European collections support this view. In so far as we have been able to ascertain, no type specimens of any of the three supposed species are extant. Schumann (Gesamtb. Kakteen 740. 1898) describes the flowers of O. candelabriformis as purple, 6 to 7 cm. broad. Opuntia candelabriformis rigidior Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 68. 1850), an unpublished variety, may belong here.
Figure 221 represents a joint of a plant presented to the New York Botanical Garden by Mrs. George Such in 1900.
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