Cactus mammillaris Nuttal , Gen. Pl. 1: 295, 1818 (not Linné 1753)
1. Cactus mammillaris
Cactus mammillaris. Tubercles ovate terete, bearded; flowers scarcely exserted berries scarlet about equal with the tubercles. — On the high hills of the Missouri probably to te mountains. A species which was hitherto supposed solely indigenous to the tropical parts of America. It appears to be smaller than the West Indian plant.
see also Vaupel in Schumann et Gürke, Blühende Kakteen, Teil 3, t.145, 1921 or Britton et Rose, The Cactaceae, Vol.4, p.53, 1923
Cactus viviparus Nuttal , in Gen. Pl. 1: 295, 1818
2. Cactus viviparus
Cactus viviparus. Cespitose; glomeruli subglobose; tubercles cylindric-ovate, bearded, marked above with a proliferous groove; flowers central large and exserted; exterior segments of the calix, ciliate; fruit ficiform, greenish. HAB. With the above, on the summits of gravelly hills; flowering from June to August; flowers large and bright-red, almost similar to those of C. flagelliformis. OBS. Nearly allied to the preceding in habit, but differing probably from every other species of this section by the remarkable proliferous tendency of its leaves, which not unfrequently multiply to the destruction of the parent plant, it consequently never becomes so large as C. mamillaris; inhabiting a climate which is scarcely temperate, from the great elevation of the land above the level of the sea, these 2 species in this country produce long and somewhat fusiform roots, penetrating deep into the earth; towards the approach of winter the upper part of the plant becomes dry, excessively spiny, and almost juiceless, in the spring numerous shoots issue from the root, and those glomeruli which have withstood the intensity of the frost, thus the plants becomes cespitose, forming masses sometimes of 2 or 3 feet in breadth. In spite of its armature the wild antelope of the plains finds means to render it subservient to its wants by cutting it up with his hooves.
The flowers are generally central, more than an inch in length; segments of the calix linear, exterior ones revolute with a fringed margin; petals numerous, narrow, linear and acuminate; berry about the size of grape, smooth and eatable; seed small, cotyledones none, (in the seeds which germinated with me, merely a tubercle similar to those of the parent plain.)
© 2002-2007 Jan Mynar
Last modified August 25, 2007
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