Tephrocactus Lemaire 1868

Subfamily Opuntioideae. Plants small, shrubby with terminal or subterminal branching, making the shoots stand in vertical rows. Roots fibrous. Stem joints cylindrical orobovate, distinctly segmented. Leaves small, cylindrical, early deciduous. Areoles sunken into globose or pear-shaped cavities with small openings, with hairs, glochids, and spines. Spines present with their epidermal cells detaching distally. Flowers borne apically, white, pinkish white, yellow, or red. Fruits dry, dehiscent, with glochids, pulp absent. Seeds highly specialized, yellowish white to brown, variable in size, 2.5-9.5 mm (to 0.4 in) long, laterally compressed, with glabrous funicular envelopes and strongly protruding funicular girdles composed of thin-walled cells. Distribution: Chubutto Salta, Argentina.

Tephrocactus alexanderi (Britton & Rose) Backeberg 1953 BOW DE INDIO

Opuntia alexanderi Britton & Rose 1923

Opuntia bruchii Spegazzini 1925, Tephrocactus bruchii (Spegazzml)

Spega2zini 1926 Opuntia halophila Spegazzini 1925, Tephrocactus halophilus

(Spegazzini) Backeberg 1935 Opuntia riojana Hosseus ex Backeberg & F. M. Knuth 1935, Tephrocactus riojanus {Hosseus ex Backeberg & F. M. Knuth) Backeberg 1936 Tephrocactus microsphaericus Backeberg 1966

Plants small, erect with some branching. Stem segments globose to somewhat elongate, tuberculate, 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) long. Areoles small, 30-60 or more per segment and extending to base, most with spines. Spines as many as 15, straight, a few stout and erect, others thinner, spreading, dark colored, interlocking. Flowers large, white to rose; pericarpels bristly above. Fruits dry, thin walled, with fine bristles to 1 cm (0.4 in) on rims. Distribution: La Rioja and Salta, Argentina.

Tephrocactus aoracanthus (Lemaire) Lemaire 1868 Opuntia aoracantha Lemaire 1856

Cereus ovatus Loudon 1830; Tephrocactus ovatus (Loudon) F. Ritter

1980, not (Pfeiffer) Backeberg 1935 (see Maihueniopsis ovata) Opuntia pediophila A. Castellanos 1950, Tephrocactus pediophilus (A. Castellanos) F. Ritter 1980, T. aoracanthus var. pediophilus (A. Castellanos) J. G. Lambert 1998 Tephrocactus hossei Krainz & R. Gräser 1951, Opuntia hossei (Krainz & R. Gräser) G. D. Rowley 1958

Plants erect, somewhat fragile, with some branching, to 30 cm (12 in) high. Stem segments ellipsoidal to ovoid, prominently tuberculate, to 8 cm (3.1 in) long. Tubercles sharply defined, in definite spirals. Areoles small, as many as 60 per segment, extending to the base, upper ones with spines. Spines 7-8, stout, unequal, erect, spreading, reddish brown to black, round in cross section, to 15 cm (5.9 in) or more

Tephrocactus
Tephrocactus alexanderi, photograph by Urs Eggli

long. Flowers large, white to slightly rose; pericarpels sometimes with spines to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) long on rims. Fruits dry, dehiscing irregularly, sometimes with persistent spines. Distribution: La Rioja, San Juan, Córdoba, and northern Mendoza, Argentina.

Tephrocactus articulatus (Pfeiffer) Backeberg 1953

paper-spined cholla

Cereus articulatus Pfeiffer 1837, Opuntia articulata (Pfeiffer) D. R. Hunt 1987

Opuntia andicola Pfeiffer 1837, Tephrocactus andicolus (Pfeiffer) Lemaire 1868

Opuntia diademata Lemaire 1838, Tephrocactus diadematus

(Lemaire) Lemaire 1868 Opuntia turpinii Lemaire 1838, Tephrocactus turpinii (Lemaire)

Lemaire 1868 Opuntia papyracantha hort. ex K. Schumann 1898 Opuntia glomerata in the sense of Britton & Rose 1919, not Haworth 1830 (see Maihueniopsisglomerata); Tephrocactusglomeratus (Haworth) Spegazzini 1926 Opuntia stroblliformis A. Berger 1929, Tephrocactus strobi/iformis (A. Berger) Fric 1933

Plants erect, loosely branching, sometimes like a string of beads, fragile. Stem segments subglobose to short cylindrical, prominently tuberculate, to 10 cm (3.9 in) or more long. Tubercles in distinct spirals. Areoles 3-40 or more, extending to

Tephrocactus mollnensis 655

the base, all or those on the upper half with spines, sometimes spineless. Glochids deeply encrypted, especially on lower areoles, red to purplish black. Spines 1-4, or absent, flattened, flexible, to 10 cm (3.9 in) long and 4 mm wide or more. Flowers white to pinkish, to 4.5 cm (1.8 in) long; pericarpels covered with areoles, spineless. Fruits barrel shaped to obconi-cal, dry, thin walled. Distribution: Mendoza north to Salta and east to San Luis, Córdoba, and Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Tephrocactus geometricus (A. Castellanos) Backeberg 1935 Opuntia geométrica A. Castellanos 1934

Plants low growing, loosely branching, to 15 cm (5.9 in) high. Stem segments spherical, light green, tuberculate, later corky, to 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long and in diameter. Areoles brownish, lower ones spineless. Spines 3-5, awl shaped, curving, black to white, 0.5-1 cm (0.2-0.4 in) long. Flowers white, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Fruits depressed globose, dry, 1.5-2.2 cm (0.6-0.9 in) long and in diameter. Distribution: Angostura de Guanchin and Tinogasta, Catamarca, Argentina.

Tephrocactus molinensis (Spegazzini) Backeberg 1953 Opuntia molinensis Spegazzini 1923, Maihueniopsis mollnensis (Spegazzini) F. Ritter 1980

Plants forming small clumps, often partly buried. Stem segments globose to short ovoid, brownish, tuberculate, fragile,

Tephrocactus Molinensis

656 Tephrocactus molinensis

2.5-4 cm (1-1.6 in) long. Tubercles present but not sharply delimited. Areoles 20-25, extending to base, relatively large. Glochids in distinct rings, reddish or grayish, not easily detached. Spines absent. Flowers pinkish white with darker midribs, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long; pericarpels with woolly areoles. Fruits dry, thin walled. Distribution: Salta, Argentina, in sandy soils.

Tephrocactus weberi (Spegazzini) Backeberg 1935 Opuntia weberi Spegazzini 1905 ?0puntia aulacothele F. A. C. Weber 1904 Tephrocactus setiger Backeberg 1935, Opuntia setigera (Backeberg) W.T.Marshall 1945

Plants shrubby, erect, branching both basally and above, to 20 cm (7.9 in) high. Stem segments cylindrical, 3-10 cm (1.2-3.9 in) long, with closely set tubercles. Tubercles distinct in outline but not prominent. Areoles small. Glochids pale red, scarce. Spines 5-10, sometimes fewer, needle-like,

Tephrocactus Molinensis
Tephrocactus molinensis
Tephrocactus Molinensis

3-5 cm (1.2-2 in) long, sometimes flexible, yellow to reddish, upper ones erect, lower ones thinner and lying next to the surface. Flowers yellowto orange-yellow, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long; pericarpels tuberculate, bristly, short. Fruits depressed, tuberculate, dry, thin walled, bristly. Distribution: Salta, western Tucuman, and La Rioja, Argentina.

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