Lepismium lumbricoides (Lemaire) Barthlott in Bradleya 5 (1987).

Luc Scherens (now in the Leuven University collection, Belgium)


lumbricoides flwr

Desc from B&R 1923

  • Plant - stems terete when growing, but angled when dormant, 3 to 4 meters long, about 6 mm. thick, rooting freely, much branched; young growth with 5 to 10 white bristles from each areole, usually spreading, but old branches naked.
  • Areoles. crowded, shortly white-felty, with 5-8 stiff horn-coloured bristles.
  • Spines. 3-5 mm long., spreading, later mostly deciduous;
  • Flowers - white to cream, sometimes tinged with green.
  • Petals - few, often only 5, lanceolate, acute, 10 to 12 mm. long, acuminate.
  • Style - slender, greenish, longer than the stamens; stigma-lobes 4, spreading, greenish.
  • Ovary - naked.
  • Fruit - purple-red (No explanation for the white shown above.)
  • Seeds - light brown.
  • Type locality - Montevideo, Uruguay.

Top two and bottom left photos above of R. lumbricoides (copyright KAF, Kew 2006)

Bottom right: labeled R. aculeatum 65-0123 in Brussels Botanic Garden 9/03. (copyright KAF)

DISTRIBUTION. Brazil (Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul), Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina (Corrientes, Entre Rios, Misiones, Buenos Aires, Formosa, Chaco, Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman, Catamarca), Bolivia (Beni, La Paz, Santa Cruz): epiphytic in seasonal forest, from sea level to 1900 m altitude.

Desc from Hunt 2006: Branches slender, to 3-4m x 6mm, terete when turgid, slightly angled when dormant, creeping or clinging with numerous aerial roots; areoles pf juvenile stems with 5-8 bristle-spines, 3-5mm, those of mature growth spineless (except in f. aculeatum) ; flowers rotate, ca 2 x 2.5 (-3.5) cm, said to be orange-scented; pericarp naked; fruit globose, red, ripening deep purple, with purple pulp.