Pereskia bleo HBK De Candolle Prodr 3 75 1828

Cactus bleo Humboldt, Bonpland, and Kunth, Nov. Gen. et Sp. 6: 69. 1823.

Pereskiapanamensis Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 739. 1898.

A tree, sometimes 7 meters high; trunk 10 cm. in diameter or less, when old becoming naked, but young shoots often bear large fascicles of spines (sometimes 25 or more); young branches red, leafy, its spines in fascicles of 5 and 6, but young shoots often bear but 1 to 4, black, acicular, up to 2.5 cm.

Fig. 11 .—Pereskia colom-

long; leaves thin, oblong to oblanceolate, 16 to 21 cm. long, 4 to 5.5 cm. wide, acuminate, cuneate at base, tapering into petioles 2 to 3.5 cm. long; areoles circular, bearing when young a little wool, but soon becoming naked; calyx turbinate, somewhat angled, naked, with linear deciduous sepals; petals 12 to 15, rose-colored, obovate, 3.5 cm. long; style longer than the stamens, red, thick; stigma-lobes 5 to 7; ovary depressed; fruit yellow, truncate, 5 to 6 cm. long; seeds 6 mm. long, black, shining.

Type locality: Near Badillas, on the Magdalena River, Colombia, South America.

Distribution: Northwestern South America and throughout Panama.

This species was collected by Bonpland during Humboldt's trip through the New World and was described and published by Kunth in 1823. Dr. Rose examined two of the original specimens in the herbarium of the Museum of Natural History at Paris, one being the specimen given by Bonpland and the other the specimen in the Kunth Herbarium, which

Magdalena River Cactus
Fig. 12.—Pereskia bleo.

is kept distinct from the general herbarium. The only other representatives of this species from South America which we have seen are a specimen in the herbarium of the same museum, which was collected by Justin Goudot in Colombia in 1844, and one collected in 1852, by I. F. Holton at San Juancito, Colombia, preserved in the Torrey Herbarium and one recently brought by Francis W. Pennell from Boca Verde, Rio Sinu, Colombia.

Heretofore Pereskia bleo has been considered one of the most common species, for many living collections as well as herbaria contain many specimens under that name; the plant which has been known as P. bleo, however, is P. grandifolia Haworth, now known to be a native of Brazil and not found wild in Colombia.

Since determining that the so-called Pereskia bleo of our gardens and of Brazil is not the true P. bleo of Humboldt, we have become convinced that P. panamensis Weber is the same as P. bleo; Mr. Pittier's exhaustive exploration of Panama has strengthened our conclusions, for he has traced this species as far south as the Colombian border. Humboldt's plant came from northern Colombia.

In Panama the plant is known under the name naju de Culebra.

Illustrations: All illustrations referred to this species which we have examined are cited under P. grandifolia.

Figure 12 is from a photograph taken by Henry Pittier, near Chepo, Panama, October

13. Pereskia bahiensis Gurke, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 86. 1908.

Shrub or tree, sometimes 8 meters high, with a more or less definite trunk, sometimes 1 meter or more long and 1 .5 to 2 dm. in diameter, and a large, rounded, much branched top; spines on new growth wanting, but on old wood 5 to 40 at an areole, some of them 5 to 9 cm. long; young branches green; leaves lanceolate, 6 to 9 cm. long, deciduous, somewhat pointed, narrowed at base into short petioles; flowers in small panicles, rose-colored; ovary bearing large leaves with cuneate bases; fruit often proliferous, yellowish when mature, more or less irregularly angled, bearing large leaves 3 to 4 cm. long, which ultimately fall away; seeds black, oblong, 5 mm. long.

Type locality: In the southeast catinga between Rio Paraguafu at Tambury and Rio das Contas at Caldeirao, Bahia, Brazil.

Distribution: Dry parts of eastern Brazil.

This species is very common in the dry regions of Bahia; and is often planted for hedges about small towns. The fruit is proliferous; as many as eight were found hanging from a single peduncle; it is said to be edible, but while half-ripe is very astringent. The perfect fruits can seldom be found, because the birds peck into them for the large black seeds.

Called in Brazil, according to Dr. Leo Zehntner, Iniabanto, Espinha de Sao Antonio, and Flor de Cera. He also says: "I think Iniabanto is the best and ought to be generalized. It is derived from Iniabo = Okra = Hibiscus esculentus, without doubt because the leaves of the pereskias are sometimes eaten by people, giving a mucilaginous dish like that of the Hibiscus fruit."

Illustration: Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 18: 87.

Figure 13 is from a specimen, preserved in formalin, collected by J. N. Rose near Machado Portello, Bahia, Brazil, in June 1915 figure 14 is from a plant from the same place; figure 15 is from a photograph obtained by J. N. Rose at Barrinha, Bahia, in June 1915.

14. Pereskia grandifolia Haworth, Suppl. Pl. Succ. 85. 1819.

Cactus rosa Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 206. 1825.

Pereskia ochnacarpa Miquel, Bull. Sci. Phys. Nat. Neerl. 48. 1838.

Tree or shrub, 2 to 5 meters high, usually with a definite, very spiny, woody trunk up to 1 dm. in diameter, the branches fleshy, glabrous, elongated, usually with 1 or 2 acicular spines at the areoles; leaves oblong, obtuse or acute, somewhat narrowed at base, 8 to 15 cm. long; petioles short; inflorescence terminal, usually few-flowered; 3.5 to 4 cm. broad; sepals green; petals rose-colored, sometimes white; filaments red; style and stigma-lobes white; ovary leaf-bearing; fruit described as large, pear-shaped, many-seeded; seeds black.

Figs. 13, 14.—Pereskia bahiensis. X0.5.

Type locality: In Brazil.

Distribution: Brazil, widely planted and subspontaneous throughout the West Indies. The plant is extensively used for hedges in tropical America. It is planted by pushing cuttings into the ground, its spiny stems soon forming a capital barrier.

Illustrations: Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 5: pl. 27, as Cactus rosa. Amer. Garden 11: 462; Blühende Kakteen 3: 137; Curtis's Bot. Mag. 63: pl. 3478; Cycl. Amer. Hort. Bailey 1: f. 309; Dict. Hort. Bois f. 678; Edwards's Bot. H. Reg. 17: pl. 1473; Engler and Prantl, Pflanzenfam. 36a: f. 71; Gard. Chron. III. 20: f. 75; Karsten, Deutsch. Fl. 887. f. 9; Martius, Fl. Bras. 42: pl. 63; Pfeiffer and Otto, Abbild. Beschr. Cact. 1: pl. 30; Reichenbach, Fl. Exot. pl. 328, all as Pereskia bleo.

Pereskia Bleo

Fig. 15.—Pereskia bahiensis. Photograph by Paul G. Russell.

Plate 111, figure 1, represents a flowering branch of a plant obtained by N. L. Britton on St. Christopher in 1901. Figure 16 is from a photograph of the plant used as a hedge near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Fig. 15.—Pereskia bahiensis. Photograph by Paul G. Russell.

Plate 111, figure 1, represents a flowering branch of a plant obtained by N. L. Britton on St. Christopher in 1901. Figure 16 is from a photograph of the plant used as a hedge near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

15. Pereskia zinniaeflora De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 475. 1828.

Shrub; leaves oval to oblong, 2 to 4 cm. long, acuminate, cuneate at base; spines on young branches 1 or 2 at an areole, on old branches 4 or 5, all short, less than 1 cm. long; flowers broad, 5 cm. wide, rose-red; petals entire, obtuse or retuse; style and stamens very short; ovary truncate, bearing small, stalked leaves.

Type locality: In Mexico.

Distribution: Mexico.

Nicholson associates this species with Pereskia bleo, that is, P. grandifolia, but the relationship is not close. The measurements of the flower given above are taken from

Cactus Bleo

1. Flowering branch of Pereskia grandifolia. 2. Leafy branch of Pereskiopsis chapistle.

3. Leafy branch of Pereskiopsis pititache. (All natural size.)

1. Flowering branch of Pereskia grandifolia. 2. Leafy branch of Pereskiopsis chapistle.

3. Leafy branch of Pereskiopsis pititache. (All natural size.)

De Candolle's plate cited below, and may not be quite correct. This species, so far as we are aware, has not been again collected.

Cactus zinniaeflora Mocino and Sessé (De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 475. 1828) was given as a synonym.

Illustrations: Förster, Handb. Cact. ed. 2. f. 135 Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: Pl. 17; Rümpler, Sukkulenten f. 127; Suppl. Dict. Gard. Nicholson f. 624. Figure 17 is a copy of the second illustration above cited.

Pereskia Bleo

Fig. 16.—Pereskia grandifolia. Exposed branches are Fig. 17.—Pereskia zinniaeflora.

shown above the other foliage.

Fig. 16.—Pereskia grandifolia. Exposed branches are Fig. 17.—Pereskia zinniaeflora.

shown above the other foliage.

16. Pereskia horrida (HBK.) De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 475. 1828.

Cactus horridus Humboldt, Bonpland, and Kunth, Nov. Gen. et Sp. 6: 70. 1823.

Tree, 4 to 6 meters high, with terete slender branches; spines often solitary, sometimes 2 or 3, slender, dark in color, unequal, the longest 2 to 3 cm. long; leaves solitary, alternate, narrowly oblong, 3 cm. long, subsessile, entire, glabrous; flowers 3 to 5 together in upper axils, about 10 mm. long; calyx described as 5-toothed and persistent; petals or 6, red, lanceolate, spreading; fruit fleshy, many-seeded.

Type locality: "Ad flumen Maranon prov. Jaen de Bracamoros." (Schumann says this locality is in Peru.)

Distribution: Northwestern South America.

The above description is compiled from Kunth's original description and from notes made by Dr. Rose upon the type material in the herbarium of the Museum of Natural History at Paris, in which there are specimens from both Bonpland and Kunth. Both of these sheets lack flowers and fruit, and only Kunth's bears leaves. So far as we are aware, no other material of this species has been collected since Humboldt's time except that in 1912 Dr. Weberbauer wrote that he had visited the Maranon, at Humboldt's locality, and had collected a single specimen, which had been sent to the Botanical Museum at Berlin.

17. Pereskia cubensis Britton and Rose, Torreya 12: 13. 1912.

A tree, 4 meters high, with a trunk 2.5 dm. in diameter and a large, fiat, much branched top; bark brownish, rather smooth, marked here and there by black bands (representing the old areoles), these broader than high; young branches slender, smooth, with light-brown bark; spines from young areoles 2 or 3, needle-like, brownish, 2 to 4 cm. long, from old areoles very numerous (25 or more), and much longer (5 cm. or more long); leaves several at each areole, sessile, bright green on both sides, oblanceolate to oblong or obovate, 1 to 4 cm. long, 10 to 12 mm. wide, acute at both ends or obtuse at the apex, fleshy, the midvein broad, the lateral veins very obscure; peduncle very short, jointed near the base, bearing 1 to 3 leaf-like bracts; flowers terminal and also axillary, solitary; sepals 5, obtuse or rounded, ovate-oblong to orbicular, unequal, 7 to 9 mm. long, the larger ones with broad purple margins; petals 8, about 15 mm. long, deep reddish purple, obovate-elliptic, rounded; stamens many, about 6 mm. long; anthers light yellow; ovary turbinate, naked, spineless; fruit not seen.

Fig. 18.—Pereskia cubensis.

-Pereskia cubensis. X0.5

Fig. 18.—Pereskia cubensis.

-Pereskia cubensis. X0.5

Type locality: In Cuba.

Distribution: Near the southern coast of eastern and central Cuba.

The tree is abundant on the plain between Guantánamo and Caimanera, Oriente, where the type specimens were collected; it also inhabits coastal thickets at Ensenada de Mora, in southwestern Oriente, the plants of this colony bearing leaves with less acute apices than those of the typical ones. A single plant was also observed on La Vigia Hill, at Trinidad, province of Santa Clara, which had shorter and smaller leaves than either of the other two. The description of the flower is from one of a plant collected by N. L. Britton and J. F. Cowell at Ensenada de Mora, southern Oriente, Cuba, in 1912, and brought to the New York Botanical Garden, where it flowered in May 1917.

Dr. Rose finds that the plant in De Candolle's herbarium which represents the Pereskia portulacifolia of the Prodromus is undoubtedly Pereskia cubensis. It was collected as early as 1821.

Figure 18 is from a photograph taken by Dr. M. A. Howe in the colony of this tree at Nuevaliches, near Guantánamo, Cuba, studied by Dr. N. L. Britton in 1909; figure 19 represents a leafy branch of the same plant.

18. Pereskia portulacifolia (Linnaeus) Haworth in De Candolle, Prodr. 3: 475. 1828.

Cactusportulacifolius Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 469. 1753.

A tree, 5 to 6.6 meters high, the branches terete, very spiny; spines acicular, sometimes almost bristle-like, 2 cm. long, on old wood in clusters of 7 to 9, but on new growth usually solitary; leaves

Pereskia Bleo
g. 20.—Pereskia portulacifolia. X0.66.

only 1 cm. long or less, cuneate at base, often retuse at apex; peduncles short but definite, 2 to 5 mm. long, bearing several small spatulate to broadly obovate leaves; flowers rose-colored, about 3 cm. broad; sepals about 3, ovate to shortly oblong, obtuse, fleshy, 8 mm. or less long; petals oblong, about 2 cm. long, thin, obtuse; ovary small, truncate, naked or bearing a single small leaf; immature fruit hard, depressed, 2 cm. long, 2.5 cm. broad, smooth, naked or with a single small leaf 5 to 6 mm. long, with a broad scar at the top 8 to 10 mm. in diameter; fruit globular, naked; seeds large, black.

Type locality: Tropical America, doubtless Hispaniola.

Distribution: Haiti.

The usual reference for the first publication of the plant under Pereskia is Haworth's Synopsis (Syn. Pl. Succ. 199. 1812), but it was not here formally transferred from the genus Cactus. His statement is: "Cactus portulacifolius is another species of this genus."

Our knowledge of this plant is drawn from the illustration below cited and descriptions, and from a fragmentary specimen collected by W. Buch near Gonaives, Haiti, in 1900, where it grows on dry calcareous rocks, and one obtained by Paul Bartsch at Tomaseau in April 1917. Dr. Bartsch states that the flower reminds one very much of a rose and the fruit is pendent like a green plum.

Lunan in 1814 (Hort. Jam. 2: 236) described a tree nearly a foot in diameter, growing at a residence near Spanish Town, Jamaica, stating that it differed from Pereskia by the absence of tufts of leaves on its fruit. His description points to Pereskia portulacifolia, but nothing is known of the species in Jamaica at the present day; according to Grisebach, Macfadyen recorded it as cultivated there.

Illustration: Plumier, Pl. Amer. ed. Burmann pl. 197, f. 1.

Figure 20 is copied from the illustration above cited.

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