See Calvente Thesis 2010
8. RHIPSALIS OBLONGA Loefgr., Arch. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 2:36. 1917.-
TYPE: Loefgren, Arch. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 2: Tab. VIII. 1918. (lectotype in Barthlott and Taylor 1995).

Epiphyte in shaded habitat, 2.50 m long, branching apical or lateral. Stem segments flattened to rarely triangular in longitudinal section, 0.5-0.8 mm diam, olive-green or light green, slightly succulent, monomorphic, 8-15(-16.2) cm long, base attenuate, apex truncate, wings 2(-3\, sometimes discontinuous (fin-like), 0.5-1.6(-2) cm wide, margin serrate, strong undulate to plane, with 2-4 mm projections, midrib 1.5-2.5 mm diam, cylindric. Areoles between margin
projections, 1.4-3.3 cm apart, first of segment 3-5.5 cm distant from segment base; when sterile 1-2.5 mm diam, with vestigial hairs and scales; when fertile 1-2.5 mm diam, with 1 acicular scale, scarce marginal hairs, 1 flower/fruit. Flowers not observed. Fruit 5-8 X 5-7 mm, globoid, greenish translucent (sometimes with pink ring at apex when immature), glabrous. Figure 6: F.

Notes; Rhipsalis oblonga can be easily identified by the olive or light green, small and narrow stem segments, with serrate margins, and the large areoles that may remain active for several bloomings. We here adopt a narrower circumscription of R. oblonga, following the original circumscription of Lofgren. Other taxonomic treatments (Barthlott and Tayor 1995; Taylor & Zappi 2004, Hunt et al. 2006) have adopted a broader circumscription for R. oblonga and
have also included Rhipsalis elliptica-like specimens with white fruits under R. oblonga. However, several morphological traits (as the areoles, flowers and stem morphology) indicate that those individuals are better placed under R. elliptica and R. crispimarginata. Furthermore, the inclusion of all white fruited Rhipsalis elliptica-like specimens under R. oblonga would lead to the recognition of a polyphyletic R. oblonga (Calvente et al. in prep; Fig. 1). Therefore, some
specimens previously included in R. oblonga are now placed in R. crispimarginata, R. elliptica subsp. elliptica and R. elliptica subsp. microflora. Even though flowers of R. oblonga were not observed in the field or in the herbarium, these flowers were previously described as having 3-4 sepaloid tepals and 5 petaloid tepals, up to 8 mm, reflexed, yellowish with reddish apex,
numerous whitish stamens and style with 4 lobes (Loefgren 1917).

Habitat and distribution: Occurs in Rio de Janeiro and northern Sao Paulo in coastal or montane Atlantic Forest. Figure 3.

Rhipsalis oblonga Lofgren, Arch. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 2: 36. 1918.
Desc from B&R 1923
Plant - in cultivation bushy; main branches terete below, more or less flattened above;
ultimate branches narrowly oblong, 5 to 15 cm. long, 1 to 2 cm. broad, shining green even
in sunlight;
Flowers - borne along the sides of the branches, solitary at the areoles;
Fruit - globular to short-oblong, 3 to 4 mm. long, nearly white, naked, crowned by the
withered perianth.

Type locality: On Ilha Grande, Brazil.

Notes from Bradleya 13
DISTRIBUTION. Brazil (S Bahia, Espirito Santo?, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo): epiphytic and epilith¬ic in perhumid Atlantic forest, near sea level to c.1300 m altitude.

This taxon has the thinnest stem-segments amongst the Brazilian species and is very closely related to R. crispata, but appears to be rare in cultivation, where it needs some shade and high humidity to succeed. As to type, R. crispimar¬ginata Lofgren (1918) is a synonym of R. oblon-ga, as has been confirmed by field studies at the type locality they share, but in cultivation this name is commonly misapplied to R. crispata (Haworth) Pfeiffer.
R. oblonga is also very similar to R. goebe¬liana from Bolivia and to R. occidentalis from northern Peru, southern Ecuador and Suriname. They differ from R. oblonga in their stem-segments being consistently narrowly cuneate at base, the pericarpel of R. goebeliana being more elongate and the flowers of R. occi¬dentalis generally smaller than those of the Brazilian species.
A red-fruited variant or ally of R. oblonga, from the Serra dos Orgaos (RJ), with somewhat smaller but thicker stem-segments, is of uncer¬tain taxonomic position and merits further study. It is sometimes encountered in cultivation under the inadequately typified name, R. rhombea (Salm-Dyck) Pfeiffer.

Desc from Hunt 2006.
Body pendent up to 1m or more, dark to pale or yellow green, rarely tinged reddish, freely emitting aerial roots; basal shoots up to 20 x 2 cm; branch segments flattened (rarely 3 winged), but margins often undulating, crenate, up to 12(-23) x 2-6 (-7)cm, ca1mm thick away from midrib, cuneate to truncate at base; areoles in the crenations 2-4mm from branch segment margin, woolly and sometimes bearing 1 or more small bristly spines; flowers 1-2 per areole, 1.5 x 1.8cm; interior tepals 5, greenish yellow; stigma (3-) 4-5, up to 3mm; fruit 6-7 x 7-8mm, white or pale pink at apex.

Two photos of R. oblonga (copyright KAF, Kew 2006)

2rhip.gif (97537 bytes)Rhipsalis oblonga
Archivos do Jardim Botanico do Rio De Janeiro, Vol II, 1918

3rhip.gif (188207 bytes) Rhipsalis crispimarginata
Archivos do Jardim Botanico do Rio De Janeiro, Vol II, 1918


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