CORYNOPUNTIA

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Autor: F. Knuth in Backeberg & Knuth

• ETYMOLOGY
“Club-Opuntia”, referring to the typical club-shaped stems of the species in this genus.
• DESCRIPTION
A genus of dwarf, bushy and low-growing plants, densely branched, with shortly cylindrical to clavate small segments, tuberculate and not ribbed. Spines having a sheath only at the apex, one is usually sturdier, angulate and flattened, sometimes with a bulbous base. Glochids are present.
Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, funnel-shaped, mostly light yellow, more rarely white (C. marenae) or red (C. guccinii), pollinated by insects, especially diptera and hymenoptera. Fruits not very spiny, fleshy at the beginning, then drying. Seeds large, flattened to suborbicular or more or less oblong, straw-coloured.
• HABITAT
The genus Corynopuntia grows in northern Mexico and southern United States, in the deserts of Mojave and Chihuahua, practically from sea level up to 2500 m in altitude, always in very dry areas, the matorral, consisting of xerophytic plants, among bushes, in cracks of rocky outcrops at foothills, on open, gravelly or clayish-sandy alluvial plains, plateaus, valleys, sometimes on oxidized, muddy, sandy or rocky limestone sedimentary soils, old stabilized dunes, together with cacti and other succulents. Plants are often used by several rodents and lizards as a protection against predators.
• DISTRIBUTION
Mexico (Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo-Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, Zacatecas), USA (Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas).

Currently 17 recognised species + one subspecies:
– Corynopuntia aggeria* (Ralston & Hilsenb.) M.P.Griff. 2002
– Corynopuntia agglomerata (A.Berger) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia bulbispina* Engelm.) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia bulbispina subsp. basileocephala D.Donati 2011
– Corynopuntia clavata* (Engelm.) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia emoryi* (Engelm.) Griffith 2002
– Corynopuntia grahamii* (Engelm.) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia guccinii D.Donati 2010
– Corynopuntia invicta* (Brandegee) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia kunzei* (Rose) Griffith 2002
– Corynopuntia marenae* (Parsons) Griffith 2002
– Corynopuntia moelleri(A.Berger) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia nigrispina D.Donati 2012
– Corynopuntia parishii* (Orcutt) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia reflexispina (Wiggins & Rollins) Backeb. 1958
– Corynopuntia robertsii (Rebman) L. G. Bulot & J. M. Solichon 2009
– Corynopuntia schottii* (Engelm.) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Corynopuntia vilis* (Rose) F.M.Knuth 1935

References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" -  ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)

 

2 Replies to “CORYNOPUNTIA”

  1. Good to see this genus reestablished.

    If anyone knows where one could obtain a plant (or even seeds) of Corynopuntia guccinii, do let me know! (Also plants of C. vilis, with reputedly purple flowers.)

    Many thanks,
    John Marmaro

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