Publication The Cactaceae 2: 115(-116), fig. 171-172 (1920).
Basionyme Cereus eruca T. Brandegee
(T. Brandegee) A.C. Gibson & K.E. Horak
"1. Machaerocereus eruca
Brandegee, Proc. Calif. Acad. II. 2:
163. 1889.Lemaireocereus eruca
Britton & Rose, Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12:
Prostrate, except the erect or ascending tips; branches 1 to 3 meters long, 4 to 8 cm. in diameter, usually simple, rooting on the under surface, dying at the older end and growing forward at the other; sometimes several plants starting as branches from a common parent as a center and first radiating out, then dying at the rear; ribs about 12; areoles large, 2 cm. apart; spines about 20, very unequal, pale gray, the outer ones terete, the inner ones stout and flatter, the longest about 3 cm. long; flowers 10 to 12 cm. long, described as yellow; tube about 10 cm. long, nearly 6 mm. in diameter; limb 4 to 6 cm. broad; ovary very spiny; fruit
spiny, 4 cm. long; seeds black.Type locality:
Magdalena Island, Lower California.Distribution:
The plant is known in Lower California as chirinola and creeping devil cactus. Mr. Brandegee describes it as follows:
"Its manner of growth with uplifted heads and prominent reflexed spines gives the plants a resemblance to huge caterpillars."
While this resemblance is true of the plants when growing in the open, it is especially striking when the plant meets with some obstruction such as a log or large stone. Then it raises its head, crawls up one side and down the other, and finally by the dying of the rear virtually passes over the obstruction.
Mr. E. A. Goldmann (Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 16:
352, 353. 1916) speaks of it as follows:
"We first saw this remarkable cactus on the coastal plain near Santo Domingo, about 30 miles north of Matancita and here made a collection. From this point southward it was noted at intervals on the plains as far as Llano de Yrais and on the lower and more sandy parts of Magdalena Island. The stems grow 1 to 3 meters in length and are nearly prostrate, and from this habit and their long whitish recurved spines have aptly been likened to huge caterpilars. The growing ends of the branches stand up from the ground, but progressive growth leaves the main body lying prostrate. The stems become rooted along the lower sides and gradually die behind, resulting in a slow progression of the living portion along the ground. Multiplication of individuals frequently results from the decay of connecting parts. In some places disconnected plants forming a hollow circle can be traced by the remains of dead trunks to a common center. The plants show a preference for soft parts of the coastal plain and grow usually in groups, often topping a slight eminence formed of wind-drifted material. These cactuses serving as a sand binder and preventing erosion tend to favor further accumulations. The desert foxes (Vulpes macrotis devius
) of the region find congenial burrowing places among the procumbent trunks."Illustrations:
Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 5:
71; Proc. Calif. Acad. II. 2:
pl. 7; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen
f. 29. Nat. Geogr. Mag. 22:
466, as Cereus eruca
; Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 16:
pl. 127, as Lemaireocereus eruca
Figure 171 is from a photograph taken by E. A. Goldmann at Santo Domingo, Lower California; Figure 172 is from a photograph of a plant collected by C. R. Orcutt at Magdateria Bay, Lower California."
Avec complément dans l'Appendix de The Cactaceae 4: 276 (1923):
"On page 116, vol. II, under Machaerocereus eruca
, add to illustrations: Journ. Intern. Gard. Club 3:
641; Karsten and Schenck, Vegetationsbilder 13:
pl. 16, as Cereus eruca
: du grec makaira
, glaive (épée courte à deux tranchants des Romains), en référence aux épines centrales.eruca
: du latin eruca
, chenille, en référence au port rampant.
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Fiche créée le 10/12/2004.