Living Rocks of Mexico
Neogomesia Castaneda Genus Nova
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This article is reproduced form The Cactus and Succulent Journal of Great Britain. Vol. 9 (1947). No .2, p29.


Director, Arizona Desert Botanical Garden

A remarkable new genus (Fig.1) discovered by Engineer M. Castaneda while investigating the Cactaceae of the State of Tamaulipas, Mexico. This little plant has escaped observation because of its small size. Many characters set it off from known genera and its small mimicry form and attractive flowers will make it interesting to collectors. It should be grown the same as Ariocarpus.

NEOGOMESIA genus nova, Castaneda

Plants simplex humilis apice plana, radlcibus carnosis fusi-formibus. Tubercula rosulata cartilaginae folia Agavei slmulant. Areolae magnae dense tomentosae In superficiem tuberculorum feruntur. Flores infundibulocampanulati In partes inferiores tuberculum nascentium feruntur, tubis florum longis nudis, sepala pauca colorata ferunt. Fructus baccatus clavatus ruber.

Plant simple, low, with flat top; rootstocks fusiform, fleshy; tubercles resembling the leaves of an Agave, cartilaginous, in rosette formation; areoles on the upper face of the tubercles, large and bearing dense, long wool; flowers funnelform-campanulate, the long tube naked except for a few sepals, these coloured and without content in their axils; flowers and fruit arising from the lower part of the areoles of nascent tubercles; fruit a clavate red berry without floral remains.

The genus Is nearest to Ariocarpus from which it differs in its long tubed flower and its clavate, red fruit which is prominently in sight from the first.

In its long tubercles and long tubed flower it Is also reminiscent of the Leuchtenbergia which is reported from adjacent districts. Both Neogomesia and Leuchtenbergia have stems built up by the dried base of the withered tubercles which Hooker noted as "resembling the stems of some cycads." Neogomesia's naked tubed flowers and indehiscent fruits as well as the position of its flowers amply separate it from Leuchtenbergia. The genus is named in honour of Engineer Marte Gomez, Governor of the State of Tamaulipas, Mexico. 

Neogomesia agavioides sp nov Castaneda

Planta simplex depressa 5-8cm. lata cinereo-viridis, radice carnosa fusiforme; tubercula 5-10 cartilaginae rugosa 4cm. longa base circa 6mm. lata apice acuta vel mucronata recurvata super de basibus ad areolas plana vel leviter convexa de areolis ad apices concava subter convexa vel leviter carinata, tuberculis junioribus erectis finaliter horizontalibus; areolae rotundatae 3-4mm. diametro cinereo-lanatae in superficies circa 1cm. deorsum apices tuberculorum ferunter; spinae aut nullae aut 1-3 sublatae adpressae 3-5mm. Iongae albae vel alboluteae flores rosacei diurni 4-5cm. longi, tubis circa 2cm. longis nudis; sepala pauca pallido-rosacea; petala exteriora linearia acuta integra circa 4mm. lata 20mm. longa, interioras acuminata 25mm. longa expansa; stamina flava; stylus albus lobis stigmatis quinque albis; fructus clavatus 20-25mm. longus ruber, seminibus ignotis.

Plant simple, depressed, 5 to 8cm. broad, grayish-green; root-stock fusiform, fleshy; the crown of the plant resembles a small Agave or Haworthia because of the cartilaginous, linear tubercles, these 40mm. long and about 6 mm. wide at the base, semi-circular in cross section, acute or mucronate, imbricate, rugose, at first erect, later ascending, then horizontal, usually with the tips recurved, the under surface convex or slightly keeled, the upper surface flattened or somewhat convex from the base to the areole, but concave from the areole to the tip; areole on the upper surface, about 1cm. from the tip, large, round and filled with a mass of long, gray wool; spines usually wanting but occasionally 1 to 3, white to horn coloured, subulate, appressed, 3 to 5mm. long ; flowers in November and December, 1 or 2 to a plant, diurnal, opening in the morning and lasting but one day, pink, large, borne near the centre of the plant at the lower part of areoles of nascent tubercles, 4 to 5cm. long, funnelform-campanulate, with a long tube (2cm. or more in length), naked; sepals few, scale-line, coloured; outer perianth segments linear, acute, entire, 20 x 4mm., white with pink centre; Inner perianth segments linear, acuminate, spreading, 25mm. long, pink with a nearly white base; filaments and anthers yellow; style white, stigma lobed 5, white; fruit red, clavate, 20 to 25mm. long, ripening rapidly; seeds not observed.

Distribution State of Tamaulipas.

Type material has been deposited in the Dudley Herbarium of Stanford University.

This species superficially represents a small Ariocarpus trigonus, but the tubercles are much longer and narrower and the prominent areoles are set back from the apex. There are only 5 to 10 tubercles to each plant, and the rosette arrangement of them suggests a small Agave or Haworthia. The long tubed flower and the prominent red fruit set this plant off sharply from any known species of Ariocarpus.

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