Rhipsalis clavata forma delicatula (Lofgren) Barthlott and N.P. Taylor

See Korotkova Thesis 2011
Rhipsalis clavata forma delicatula (Loefgren) Barthlott & N P Taylor

Rhipsalis clavata var. delicatula Lofgren 1918
Treated as a synonym of R. clavata by B&R 1923 but raised to varietal status by Backeberg in Backeberg 1977
Description in Backeberg 1977
Body erect at first, soon hanging, strongly branching, forking or in whorls of 2-7 shoots, ca. 1m long;
Shoots thin-clavate above, to ca 5 cm long, less than 2 mm thick, less than 3 mm thick at the tip, light green
Areoles only at the shoot-tip ;
Flower bud white
Flowers. subapical, ca. 1cm diam., hemispherical to ca.bellshaped, white; very floriferous
Petals not revolute
Ovary spherical, without scales;
Fruit spherical, greenish-white;
Seed large, beaked, dark brown.
Habitat Brazil (Rio de Janeiro; Tijuca).

Rose cited R. clavata var. delicatula Lofgren from an illustration in Lofgren  (1918), but did not recognize the species as a variety, at least he did not report it as such. Backeberg later recognized it, but failed to list a source for his information. The only first-hand study of the plant was done by Lofgren and variety delicatula does not seem to have been discussed in print beyond Lofgren. One wonders about the existance of the variety at all. Barthlott (1977b) reported a supposed specimen in cultivation, but noted that there was "little difference between it and the type."  In the late 1970s, then, this so-called variety appeared highly suspicious. The drawing here is from "Archivos do Jardim Botanico do Rio De Janeiro," Rio de Janeiro, 1917. All stem segments of this are more slender and delicate than in the homotypic form, but its occurrence appears to be random.

(L) R. clavata forma delicatula (copyright KAF, Kew 2006) (R) Above: Copyright Ken Friedman

Above: Copyright Ken Friedman

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Drawing from Archivos do Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro VOl II, 1918


R. clavata

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