Cactus radiosus     (Engelmann) Coulter    var. alversonii     John M. Coulter var. nov., A Preliminary Revision of the North American Species of Cactus, Anhalonium, and Lophophora, 1894


63. Cactus radiosus alversoni, var. nov.

Differs from var. deserti in its more robust and branching habit (becoming 12.5 cm. tall and 10 cm. in diameter), shorter and thicker tubercles, more numerous (12 to 14 centrals) stouter and longer (12 to 22 mm.) spines, all of which are black-tipped (the centrals black half way down, shading into red), and pink flowers. Type, Alverson's specimens in Herb. Mo. Bot. Gard. and in Herb. Coulter.

In the desert region of extreme southeastern California.

Specimens examined: Southern California (A. H. Alverson of 1892): also growing in Mo. Bot. Gard. 1893.

The covering of stout bushy interlocking spines is like that of var. deserti, but the black and reddish coloration gives a decidedly different appearance. On account of this appearance of a reddish-black brush the plant has been popularly called "foxtail cactus." The decidedly pink flowers were sent by Mr. S. B. Parish from specimens growing in cultivation in San Diego, and are not from the original collection of Mr. Alverson.



© 2002-2003   Jan Mynar

Last modified February 4, 2003

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