Harrisia

Britton

Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 35: 561. 1908.

Common names: Applecactus
Etymology: for William H. Harris, 1860–1920, Superintendent of Public Gardens and Plantations of Jamaica
Synonyms: Cereus subg. Eriocereus A. Berger Eriocereus (A.B erger) Riccobono Roseocereus Backeberg
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 152. Mentioned on page 96, 97.

Shrubs, often treelike, erect or old plants with branches usually ascending, clambering, or prostrate, sparingly branched or unbranched. Roots diffuse (sometimes tuberlike). Stems unsegmented, green, long cylindric, 100–600 × 2.5–6 cm, glabrous; ribs 8–12, rounded, low, less than 1 cm deep, shallowly to indistinctly tuberculate; areoles ca. 2 cm apart along ribs, circular to oval, short woolly, sometimes subtended by small, subulate, deciduous leaves; areolar glands not apparent; cortex and pith mucilaginous. Spines 6–17 per areole, usually porrect to ascending, white to pinkish or yellow to light-brown, aging gray, sometimes with tips darker or yellowish, acicular, straight, ± terete, 10–40 × 0.5–0.75 [–1.5] mm, hard, smooth and glabrous; radial spines and central spines not clearly distinguishable. Flowers nocturnal, remaining open next day, lateral or terminal on stems at least 1 year old, funnelform, 12–20 [–25] × 8–12 cm; outer tepals green to reddish or purplish, linear to lanceolate or narrowly oblong, 50–60 × 4.5–6 mm, margins entire; inner tepals white to pinkish, 60–75 × 12–20 mm, margins entire or denticulate; ovary usually conspicuously tuberculate, scaly, spineless or spines represented by soft and silky to stiff hairs [or spiny]; scales entire; stigma lobes 8–15, yellow-green to white, 6–9 mm. Fruits indehiscent or splitting irregularly from apex toward base, green to yellow, red, or orange-red, spheric to ovoid-spheric, [30–] 40–75 [–80] × [30–] 40–75 [–80] mm, usually spineless (or spines bristlelike) [or slender acicular]; scales deciduous [sometimes persistent]; pulp white; floral remnant usually persistent. Seeds black, broadly ovoid or broadly ellipsoid, 2–3 × 1.5 mm, warty. x = 11.

Distribution

Fla., West Indies, South America

Discussion

Species ca. 20 (3 in the flora).

In lieu of a detailed study of Harrisia, this treatment respects earlier taxonomies based in large part on the fruit color and the colors of the hairs in the areoles of the flowers and fruits. Both characters may prove to be variable within taxa of Harrisia and therefore not be taxonomically useful.

Harrisia was traditionally classified with columnar cacti of North America and Central America, e.g., have kinship with Acanthocereus, Selenicereus, or Hylocereus, which also form long-tubed, nocturnal flowers. Recent DNA analyses have demonstrated that Harrisia belongs instead to a large South American clade of columnar cacti (R. S. Wallace and A. C. Gibson 2002), with which they share axillary tufts of silky hairs on the flower tube.

The basis for E. F. Anderson’s (2001) inclusion of Harrisia eriophora in the flora, in addition to the species recognized here, is not apparent. He recognized H. donae-antoniae, an invalid name for a local Florida variant of H. aboriginum, in the synonymy of H. gracilis (Miller) Britton. He apparently did not intend, however, to include H. gracilis as native to Florida because he listed its geographic distribution as “Jamaica.”

The fruits of several species of Harrisia are sweet and edible.

Selected References

None.

Key

1 Flower buds with brown hairs; scales of flower tube with axillary tufts of stiff, tawny brown hairs; fruits dull yellow at maturity Harrisia aboriginum
1 Flower buds with white hairs; scales of flower tube with axillary tufts of soft, white hairs; fruits dull red or orange-red at maturity > 2
2 Flower tubes prominently ridged; scales turgid near base; fruits depressed-spheric Harrisia simpsonii
2 Flower tube smooth, not or scarcely ridged; scales flat or nearly so; fruits obovoid Harrisia fragrans
... more about "Harrisia"
cushionlike +
circular to linear +
deciduous +  and persistent +
circular +  and oval +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (?) +
Bruce D. Parfitt +  and Arthur C. Gibson +
Britton +
hardened +
triangular +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
Applecactus +
mucilaginous +
Fla. +, West Indies +  and South America +
not separating +
for William H. Harris, 1860–1920, Superintendent of Public Gardens and Plantations of Jamaica +
20 cm200 mm <br />0.2 m <br /> (25 cm250 mm <br />0.25 m <br />) +
12 cm120 mm <br />0.12 m <br /> (20 cm200 mm <br />0.2 m <br />) +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
8cm;12cm +
7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br /> (8 cm80 mm <br />0.08 m <br />) +
7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br /> (8 cm80 mm <br />0.08 m <br />) +
green;yellow red or orange-red +
splitting +  and indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
40mm;75mm +
spheric +  and ovoid-spheric +
dry +, fleshy +  and juicy +
4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br /> (7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br />) +
6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br /> (7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br />) +
deciduous +
rudimentary +
subulate +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br />) +
tuberculate +
fluted;spheric;depressed-spheric or club-shaped +
denticulate +  and entire +
5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br /> (6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br />) +
tuberculate +
deciduous +  and persistent +
mucilaginous +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
Bull. Torrey Bot. Club +
tuberculate +
rounded +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
deciduous +
triangular +
arillate +  and strophiolate +
0.04 cm0.4 mm <br />4.0e-4 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
ellipsoid;ovoid +
1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br /> (?) +
0.075 cm0.75 mm <br />7.5e-4 m <br /> (0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br />) +
gray +, white +  and pinkish or yellow +
straight +
deciduous +  and persistent +
10mm +  and 40mm +
usually porrect +  and ascending +
6 (?) +  and 17 (?) +
terete +  and acicular +
0.05 cm0.5 mm <br />5.0e-4 m <br /> (0.075 cm0.75 mm <br />7.5e-4 m <br />) +
decurrent +
open +  and unsegmented +
100cm;600cm +
cylindric +
succulent +
2.5cm;6cm +
yellow-green +  and white +
tuberculate +
Cereus subg. Eriocereus +, Eriocereus +  and Roseocereus +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Harrisia +
Cactaceae subfam. Cactoideae +
dull +  and glossy +
yellowish +  and darker +
unbranched +  and branched +
plant +, shrub +  and arboreous +
epiphytic;epiphytic;epiphytic +
prostrate +, clambering +  and erect +
barrel-shaped +  and spheric +