Pfeiffera asuntapatense (Kessler, Ibisch, & Barthlott) R Bauer Cact. Syst. Init. 20: 6. 2005
Lepismium asuntapatense Kessler, lbisch & Barthlott Bradleya 18/2000 p13,14

Lepismium asuntapatense sp. nov. similis est L. boliviano sed differt in characteribus sequentibus: margo segmenti caulis aliquantum convexus, arolae amplae et lanatae cum spinis brevis inconspicuisque in caulibus veteribus, flores homogene vividi aurantiaci, flores compactiores campanulati tepalis latioribus et minus expansis.

Type: Bolivia, Dpto. La Paz, Prov. J. Bautista Saavedra M., Pauji-Yuyo, entre Apolo y Charazani, 15°02'30"S, 68°29'W, 1,300 m, 6.6.1997, Kessler 9800 (holo. LPB, iso. GOET, K); ibid. cult. GOET, BONN.

  • Pendent epiphyte to up to 1.5 m long, branching mesotonically;
  • Stem-segments of indeterminate growth, flattened, 25-30 mm wide, up to 4 mm thick and up to 40 cm long, margins convex with noticeably raised areolar areas;
  • Areoles 2.5-4 cm apart, areolar wool-mass dense, white, 3 mm high and 3-4 mm in diameter, spines undeveloped except with age, subtending leaves not visible;
  • Epidermis smooth, slightly shiny, dark green.
  • Flowers single, lateral, campanulate, 10-15 mm in diameter when dry and 14-19 mm in alcohol material, 7-10 (alcohol: 11-15) mm long;
  • Pericarpel 2-3 (2-5) mm long and wide, 3-5angular, occasionally with tiny woolly areoles, orange, bract-scales 1-2 (1-2) mm long and wide, obtuse to subacute;
  • Bracteoles appressed, obtuse to acute, 0.5-1.5 (0.5-2) mm long and wide, orange;
  • Outer tepals ovate to obovate, 2-6 (3-8) mm long, 2-4 (3-6) mm wide, obtuse, slightly mucronate, bright orange (to red, ex situ in Santa Cruz);
  • Inner tepals 8-10, oblong-ovate, obtuse, slightly mucronate, 7-9 (8-11) mm long, 3.5-5 (4-7) mm wide, bright orange (to red, ex situ in Santa Cruz);
  • Stamens 35-50, filaments 3-4 (4-5) mm long, pale orange, anthers cream;
  • Style c. 5 mm long, cream, stigma with 4 recurved lobes, pure white.
  • Fruits and seeds not known.
  • Range: Very small. Endemic to Bolivia. Distribution in Bolivia: So far known only from the type locality in humid montane rain forest
  • Altitudinal range: 1,000-1,350 m
  • Epiphytism: Obligatory. ZJ 3-4 (hanging). Flowers: Cultivated specimens flowered in November to December (in Bolivia), and in February (Germany). Conservation value and status in Bolivia: 32+2+0+8+2=44; not endangered but merits special national attention and monitoring.

    Notes: This species is most closely related to L. bolivianum. However, it differs in that it has convex rather than concave stem-segment margins, very large woolly areoles with short inconspicuous spines in older stems, homogenously bright orange flowers (vs. whitish flowers with varying degrees of pink, reddish or orange tinges), and broader, less spreading tepals which lead to a more compact campanulate flower shape. While it is true that L. bolivianum is a quite variable species, which sometimes shows characters approaching those of L. asuntapatense, we consider that the morphological differences between both forms clearly set these two species apart. Furthermore, as far as presently known, their flowering seasons do not overlap. Also, while L. bolivianum has been found down to 1,050 m in Department of Cochabamba, this is a very humid region with comparatively low temperatures and correspondingly has a strongly restricted elevational distribution of vegetation zones. In the Department of La Paz, L. bolivianum has until now been found only above 1,800 m, suggesting an altitudinal separation with L. asuntapatense. L. asuntapatense is quite common at the type locality, where it is syntopic with Rhipsalis baccifera, R. cuneata and Epiphyllum phyllanthus. Lepismium crenatum was found at slightly lower elevations (900 m). This locality with extensive areas of extremely species-rich forests has only recently become accessible through the construction of the road from Charazani to Apolo. Since 1997 settlement along this road has been threatening the survival of this forest area. Since the soils of this region (encompassing the mountain ranges of Asunta Pata and Calabatea, (see Parker & Bailey 1991) consist of highly erodable loams without a hard bedrock, this region is unsuitable for long-term sustainable agriculture. We recommend that this mountain range be formally protected, both for the control of soil erosion and the protection of the diverse plant and animal communities.

    Use potential: Probably high ornamental potential.

Desc from Hunt 2006.
Resembling P. boliviana but branches with more convex to straight rather than concave margins; areoles very large, woolly (cf. Lepismium incashacanum ); flowers orange to red with a slight magenta sheen.


email from Frank Supplie

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 20:27:41 +0200
Subject: [Rhipsalis] lepismium asuntapatense

Fruit - oblong, 6 - 8 mm long excluding dried perianth, 5 - 7 mm thick, the epidermis at first
light green, finally whitish and translucent, with the seeds and white venation visible within,
smooth and shiny, the bracteoles appressed, deltoid. less than 1 mm long and wide, greenish,
lacking areolar wool; pulp colorless; dried perianth straight. ca. 3 mm long, brownish.

This is the text from the original plantdescription in Bradleya. As we do get the plant in question in our collection from the material here described it wonders me according the fruit color. The fruit in our plant is much smaller, rounder and orange colored instead of this here above?

I have to say that our plant had also a much paler flower than the here by M.Kessler photographed plant. The flower was more a salmonpink flower than the orange. So can that be also a different culture method?

As I had only one plant in my collection I polinated it with Lepismium monacanthum f. monacanthum

very strange, who can help?


From Bauer in Cact. Syst. Init. 20: 6. 2005
Pfeiffera asuntapatensis (Kessler, Ibisch & Barthlott) R. Bauer comb. nov. Basionym: Lepismium asuntapatense Kessler, Ibisch & Barthlott, Bradleya 18: 13 (2000). Holotype: Bolivia, La Paz, prov. Saavedra, Strasse von Charazani nach Apolo zwischen einem 1500 m hohen Pass und Pauje Yuyo, 1300 m, 15°2'30"S/68°29'W, 6 June 1997; Kessler 9800 (LBP holo., GOET, K, iso.)

Living material examined: the type collection (cult. BG Gottingen and in hort. Bauer) and from Bolivia, La Paz, prov. Saavedra, Strasse von Charazani nach Apolo, am Fussweg von der Strasse nach Pauje Yuyo, 23 September 2001, Krahn 970 (cult. hort. Krahn, Bauer).

Pfeiffera asuntapatensis is related to P. boliviana (Britton) D. Hunt. However P. asuntapatensis has more convex to straight rather than concave stem margins (convex: Kessler 9800; straight: Krahn 970 and a further collection by Kessler (Kessler 9711) from the same area which was erroneously thought to represent P. crenata). It has very large woolly areoles similar to those of the only distant¬ly related Lepismium incachacanum. In the two non-type-collections mentioned here, the areoles can be smaller and with less wool as well. Occasionally a central spine occurs. The flowers are orange (Kessler 9800) to red with a slight magenta sheen (Krahn 970).


Photo, reprinted with permission from Dr. Ralf Bauer (8/17/01), was scanned from a periodical, "Epig", in an article by Ralf Bauer. The text says : "Lepismium asuntapatense, Kessler, 9800, Bolivia, La Paz, Prov. Saavedra, Street from Charazani to Apolo between a 1500 m high pass and Pauje Yuyo, 1300m, S15°2'30" W68°29'; in collection Krahn."