The respective publication targets in detail the Flora of North America, North of Mexico. In the following index taxa of the Coryphantha genus, in particular the taxa of Escobaria subgenus are listed.

Genus Coryphantha


Coryphantha (Engelmann) Lemaire subgenus Escobaria (Britton et Rose) A. Berger

8.   Coryphantha tuberculosa   (Engelmann) A. Berger, 1929
Synonymum:      Mamillaria tuberculosa   Engelmann,   1856
Coryphantha dasyacantha   (Engelmann) Orcutt var. varicolor   (Tiegel) L. D. Benson
Coryphantha varicolor   Tiegel
Escobaria dasyacantha   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose var. varicolor   (Tiegel) D. R. Hunt
Escobaria tuberculosa   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose
Comments:      The names Coryphantha strobiliformis and Escobaria strobiliformis have been misapplied to C. tuberculosa by some recent authors (e.g., L. D. Benson 1982). Those names were based on Echinocactus strobiliformis Poselger, which is C. chihuahuensis (Britton & Rose) A. Berger.

9.   Coryphantha robertii   A. Berger, 1929
Synonymum:      Escobaria runyonii   Britton et Rose,   1923; not Coryphantha runyonii   Britton et Rose,   1923
Coryphantha emskoetteriana   (Quehl) A. Berger
Coryphantha muehlbaueriana   Boedeker
Comments:      An earlier name, Echinocactus pottsiana Poselger, may apply to the species here called Coryphantha robertii. The type specimen is fragmentary with squashed, disintegrated spine clusters, one seed, and vague locality data.

10.   Coryphantha chaffeyi   (Britton et Rose) Fosberg,   1931
Synonymum:      Escobaria chaffeyi   Britton et Rose,   1923
Escobaria dasyacantha   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose var. chaffeyi   (Britton et Rose) N. P. Taylor

11.   Coryphantha dasyacantha   (Engelmann) Orcutt,   1926
Synonymum:      Mammillaria dasyacantha   Engelmann,   1856
Escobaria dasyacantha   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose
Escobesseya dasyacantha   (Engelmann) Hester
Comments:      Ripe fruits, with their strongly persistent floral remnant, provide the only simple way to distinguish C. dasyacantha from C. duncanii.
The black fresh seeds of C. dasyacantha and related species usually provide immediate distinction from C. tuberculosa, C. sneedii, and C. vivipara, which have differently shaped, bright reddish brown fresh seeds. In addition, the greenish stigma lobes of C. dasyacantha, C. duncanii, C. chaffeyi, C. pottsiana, and certain Mexican taxa contrast with the violet or white stigma lobes of C. vivipara, C. sneedii, C. alversonii, and C. hesteri.

12.   Coryphantha duncanii   (Hester) L. D. Benson,   1969
Synonymum:      Escobesseya duncanii   Hester,   1941
Escobaria dasyacantha   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose var. duncanii   (Hester) N. P. Taylor
Escobaria duncanii   (Hester) Backeberg
Comments:      Coryphantha duncanii is inconspicuous, difficult to identify, and usually rare. Other coryphanthas in its range have thicker spines, except for C. chaffeyi and C. dasyacantha. Coryphantha duncanii resembles a stunted, crevice-limited growth form of C. dasyacantha but has caducous floral remnant. It is closely related to C. zilziana Boedeker of Mexico.

13.   Coryphantha robbinsorum   (W. Earle) A. D. Zimmerman,   1978
Synonymum:      Cochiseia robbinsorum   W. Earle,   1976
Escobaria robbinsorum   (W. Earle) D. R. Hunt
Comments:      Coryphantha robbinsorum is somewhat intermediate between the C. dasyacantha species-group, especially C. zilziana Boedeker, and the C. missouriensis species-group.

14.   Coryphantha missouriensis   (Sweet) Britton et Rose   1913
Synonymum:      Mammillaria missouriensis   Sweet,   1826
Coryphantha missouriensis var. caespitosa   (Engelmann) L. D. Benson
Coryphantha missouriensis var. robustior   (Engelmann) L. D. Benson
Escobaria missouriensis   (Sweet) D. R. Hunt
Neobesseya missouriensis   (Sweet) Britton et Rose
Neobesseya similis   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose
Neomammillaria missouriensis   (Sweet) Britton et Rose ex Rydberg
Comments:      Reports of C. missouriensis from Idaho are based on misidentified specimens of Pediocactus simpsonii (in the broad sense).
The epithet marstonii [apparently based by L. D. Benson (1969) on C. vivipara] has been misapplied to the various Arizona and Utah populations of C. missouriensis, especially the peculiar plants in Navajo County, Arizona.
The fictional endemic Texas variety "var. robustior" [= Neobesseya wissmannii (Hildman ex K. Schumann) Britton et Rose] never corresponded to a populational entity. It evolved in the literature from robust individual plants in ordinary eastern populations, through misidentified plants of the sympatric C. sulcata, to inaccurate descriptions and maps based on mixtures of both species.
The closest relatives of Coryphantha missouriensis are C. asperispina Boedeker of Mexico and C. cubensis Britton et Rose of Cuba.

15.   Coryphantha minima   Baird,   1931
Synonymum:      Coryphantha nellieae   Croizat
Escobaria minima   (Baird) D. R. Hunt
Escobaria nellieae   (Croizat) Backeberg
Mammillaria nellieae   (Croizat) Croizat
16.   Coryphantha hesteri   Y. Wright,   1932
Synonymum:      Escobaria hesteri   (Y. Wright) Buxbaum
Comments:      Coryphantha hesteri resembles C. vivipara but is much smaller in all parts.

17.   Coryphantha chlorantha   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose,   1923
Synonymum:      Mammillaria chlorantha   Engelmann in J. T. Rothrock,   1878
Coryphantha vivipara   (Engelmann) Britton et Rose var. buoflama   P. C. Fischer
Coryphantha vivipara var. deserti   (Engelmann) W. T. Marshall
Escobaria deserti   (Engelmann) Buxbaum
Escobaria vivipara   (Nuttall) Buxbaum var. deserti   (Engelmann) D. R. Hunt
Comments:      Coryphantha chlorantha is vegetatively identical to C. vivipara in the broad sense; without fresh flowers or reliable flower data, only an expert can distinguish C. chlorantha from C. vivipara, with which it sometimes grows sympatrically. Populations of C. chlorantha can be distinguished by their small, less-widely opening flowers, which are usually yellowish or pale pink-and-cream-striped, in contrast with the large, widely opening, purple flowers of C. vivipara.
Coryphantha chlorantha is more easily distinguished from C. alversonii, with which it is allopatric. Flowers of both are intermediate between those of C. vivipara and C. sneedii. Like C. sneedii, but unlike C. alversonii, C. chlorantha is polymorphic with respect to flower color, at least in some parts of its range. The "green" morph, for which chlorantha was named, probably is in the minority.

18.   Coryphantha alversonii   (J. M. Coulter) Orcutt,   1926
Synonymum:      Cactus radiosus   (Engelmann) J. M. Coulter var. alversonii   J. M. Coulter,   1894
Coryphantha vivipara   (Nuttall) Britton et Rose var. alversonii   (J. M. Coulter) L. D. Benson
Comments:      Coryphantha alversonii is an allospecies in the C. vivipara species-group. Unlike other species in the subgenus Escobaria which have one layer, C. alversonii has two layers of hypodermis, probably reflecting its unusually xeric habitat.
The distinctive spine clusters of this species are strongly reminiscent of the Chihuahuan Desert species C. sneedii, only larger; the fruits and seeds of C. alversonii are intermediate in size and shape between those of C. sneedii and C. vivipara.

19.   Coryphantha vivipara   (Nuttall) Britton et Rose   1913
Synonymum:      Cactus viviparus   Nuttall,   1813
Coryphantha missouriensis   (Sweet) Britton et Rose var. marstonii   (Clover) L. D. Benson
Coryphantha vivipara var. arizonica   (Engelmann) W. T. Marshall
Coryphantha vivipara var. bisbeeana   (Orcutt) L. D. Benson
Coryphantha vivipara var. kaibabensis   P. C. Fischer
Coryphantha vivipara var. neomexicana   (Engelmann) Backeberg
Coryphantha vivipara var. radiosa   (Engelmann) Backeberg
Coryphantha vivipara var. rosea   (Clokey) L. D. Benson
Escobaria vivipara   (Nuttall) Buxbaum
Comments:      The large lenticular druses (to 1 mm wide) in the pith and cortex of C. vivipara are shared only with C. sneedii.

20.   Coryphantha sneedii   (Britton et Rose) A. Berger,   1929
Synonymum:      Escobaria sneeedii   Britton et Rose,   1923
Coryphantha albicolumnaria   (Hester) Dale A. Zimmerman
Coryphantha orcuttii   (Boedeker) Dale A. Zimmerman
Coryphantha organensis   Dale A. Zimmerman
Coryphantha sneedii var. leei   (Rose et Boedeker) L. D. Benson
Coryphantha strobiliformis var. orcuttii   (Boedeker) L. D. Benson
Escobaria guadalupensis   Brack et Heil
Escobaria sandbergii   Castetter, P. Pierce et K. H. Schwerin
Escobaria villardii Castetter, P. Pierce et K. H. Schwerin



© 2002-2008   Jan Mynar

Last modified March 2, 2008

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