Pereskia weberiana Schumann Gesamtb Kakteen 762 1898

Shrubby, much branched, glabrous, 2 to 3 meters high, the slender round branches about 3 mm. thick; leaves ovate to elliptic, about 3 cm. long and 2 cm. wide, sessile, acute at the apex, obtuse at the base; areoles circular, slightly elevated, the wool short, whitish, fading brown; spines 3 to 6 at the lower areoles, solitary at the upper, 2 cm. long or less, terete, acicular, yellow or horn-colored; flowers clustered, white, about 1 cm. long or less; ovary about 2 mm. long, bearing a few white, woolly areoles; outer segments of the perianth triangular, acute, woolly at the axils, the inner spatulate to obovate; stamens a little longer than the petals; stigma-lobes 3 or 4, erect.

Type locality: Tunari Mountains,* Bolivia, at 1,400 meters altitude.

Distribution: Bolivia, known only from the type locality.

This species is said to flower in May.

The description has been drawn from a cotype in the herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden, and from Professor Schumann's original account of the species in his Gesamtbeschreibung der Kakteen, p. 762. Dr. Kuntze obtained the specimens during his botanical exploration of Bolivia in 1892. The species was named, but not described, by Professor Schumann in Dr. Kuntze's Revisio Genera Plantarum (32: 107. 1893).

The material preserved is too imperfect to enable us to give an illustration of this plant.

Fig. 10.—Pereskia guamacho. X0.8

9. Pereskia guamacho Weber, Diet. Hort. Bois 938. 1898.

Plant very spiny, usually a small shrub 1 to 3 meters high, but often a tree 10 meters high with a trunk up to 4 dm. in diameter and 3 meters long or more below the much branched top; areoles rather prominent, especially in age often standing out like small knobs on the branches, filled with brown felt, at first usually with only 1 to 4 spines along with a few short accessory ones, but in age often with 20 spines or more; spines somewhat divaricate, rigid, brown, the longer ones often 4 cm. long; leaves on young branches solitary, but on old wood growing in fascicles, acute, lanceolate to ovate or obovate with cuneate bases, usually about 3 cm. long, but sometimes 5 to 9 cm. long by 3 to 6 cm. broad, fleshy; flowers probably solitary, but so thickly set along the branches as to appear almost spicate, sessile, bright yellow, 4 cm. broad; ovary covered with small, lanceolate-acuminate leaves, these hairy in the axils; stamens numerous; fruit globular, about 2 cm. in diameter, becoming naked, said to be orange-colored and edible; seeds black, flattened, 4 mm. broad.

Type locality: Basin of the Orinoco, Venezuela.

Distribution: Venezuela mainland and on Margarita Island.

This plant is very common not only in the flat land along the coast of Venezuela but also in the mountains. It is also widely grown in and about yards, for the leaves are supposed to have medicinal properties, and when properly grown as a hedge it forms a

*Tunari Mountains, just northwest of Cochabamba, Bolivia, about at the site of Sacaba.

most formidable protection. In the grazing regions of the country and along railways where wire fencing is employed, the trunks and larger branches are used for posts and smaller branches for intervening supports; these posts and stays, however, do not die, but in time grow to considerable size.

Although the wood, especially the branches, has little strength or endurance, it is used somewhat for making hanging baskets for orchids. It is known everywhere as guamacho, which was taken by Weber as the specific name for the plant.

Figures 9 and 10 are from photographs taken by Mr. H. Pittier at Caracas, Venezuela, in 1913.

Continue reading here: Pereskia colombiana sp nov

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