Pfeiffera paranganiensis (Cardenas.) Barthlott in Bradleya 5; 99 (1987)

Lepismium paraganiense, copyright Derek ButcherLepismium paraganiense, copyright Derek Butcherparanganiense.gif (169043 bytes)

Lepismium paranganiense (Cardenas.) Barthlott in Bradleya 5; 99 (1987)
Desc from CSJ(US) p210 (1984)

Stems -  at first erect to arching, finally pendent, branching freely, to 4 m long, ca. 12 mm thick, the sides slightiy to strongly concave; ribs (2-) 4 (-5), obtusely serrate, sharp-margined; 
-  2.5 - 4 cm apart, subtended by an appressed, obtuse, mucronate, amber-yellowish green leaflet less than 1 mm long and wide; areolar wool-mass cream, ca. 1 mm wide; 
-  at right angles to stem or nearly parallel to it, sharp, yellowish tan, 1-4, about two of them sinuous, thinner and 4-5 mm long, the other 1 or 2 straight and 7 - 10 mm long; 
-  smooth, slightly shiny, green. 
-  single, 17 - 20 mm long, the limb 18 -22 mm wide; 
-  6-7 mm long, 9-10 mm thick near apex, purphsh green, the podaria 4 - 5 mm long, ca. 4 mm wide, obtuse to subacute; 
-  appressed, obtuse to acute, 1 - 1.5 mm long and wide, subtending areolar wool less than 1 mm long and 2 - 4 hair-like yellowish spines to 2 mm long; 
Outer tepals
-  ovate to obovate, 3 - 11 mm long, 3 - 7 mm wide, obtuse, mucronate, yellowish, with
red­dish magenta apices; 

Inner tepals -  oblong-ovate, obtuse, slightly mucronate, 12 - 15 mm long, 6 - 8 mm wide, cream, the apex reddish; 
Nectaries -  forming a yellow torus-like ring near base of style; 
Stamens -  inserted in a single zone around the nectaries, the filaments ca. 10 mm long, yellowish, the anthers ca. 0.25 mm long, yellow; 
Style -  ca. 7 mm long and 1 mm thick, cream, the stigma with 6 - 8 recurving lobes 2 - 3 mm long and ca. 1 mm thick, cream.  Fruit -  turbinate-globose, 8 mm long, 10 mm thick, abruptly tapered near the base, the apex 7 mm wide, umbilicate, the depression ca. 1 mm deep; podaria ca. 7, prominent, usually as long as fruit, obtuse to subacute, 3 - 7 mm long, ca. 4 mm wide, the epidermis brownish yellow with a faint greenish tinge;  Bracteoles -  slightly expanding, widely ovate to deltoid, less than 1 mm long; dried remains of flower erect, 1 cm long, brownish yellow. 
Seeds -  comma-shaped (obovate, with a highly oblique hilum), 1.75 mm long, 1 mm wide, 0.5 mm thick, the testa minutely pitted, shiny, dark reddish brown, the hilum highly oblique, somewhat sunken, white, with a black beak-like projection near seed-apex. 

The stems of R. paranganiensis are nearly erect when young but eventually arch over and become pendent. Although Cardenas' photographs show many flowers along each stem, they have appeared rather sparsely under our cultivation; they have also rarely formed fruit unless hand-pollinated with pollen of another clone. 

Notes from Bradleya 13

DISTRIBUTION. Bolivia (Cochabamba): terrestrial or epilithic, at 2600-3000 m altitude. 

In the Kew Herbarium there is a photograph of this species taken by Cardenas in 1935, in the region of the type locality, at 3000 m altitude, where it would appear to be terrestrial. It is easy to cultivate, but some clones never flower when planted in a hanging basket, perhaps because it prefers a terrestrial habitat where at least some of its stems can grow erect. A plant recently collected at the type locality has flowered in Bonn with large creamy-yellowish flowers. One partic­ular collection by Friedrich Ritter (FR 343) differs significantly in having flowers with many (up to 15) brilliant white perianth-segments.

Photos, copyright Derek Butcher.

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