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Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Bruce D. Parfitt, except as noted

Perennial herb, shrub, tree, generally fleshy. Stem: cylindric to spheric, or flat; surface smooth, tubercled, or ribbed (grooved); nodal areoles bearing flowers. Leaf: generally 0 or early-deciduous, flat to ± cylindric. Spines: areoles generally with central, radial spines, occasionally with glochids. Flower: generally 1 per areole, bisexual [unisexual], sessile, radial [bilateral]; perianth parts generally many [5], scale-like to petal-like; stamens many; ovary inferior [superior], style 1, stigma lobes generally several [many]. Fruit: dry to fleshy or juicy, indehiscent to variously dehiscent, spiny, scaly, or naked; tubercled or smooth. Seed: generally many, occasionally 0–few.
± 125 genera, ± 1800 species: America (especially deserts), Africa; many cultivated, some edible. [Parfitt & Gibson 2004 FNANM 4:92–257] Spines smaller, fewer (0) in shade forms; yellow spines blacken in age. Introduced species increasingly escape cultivation. Hybridization common in some genera. Taxa of Escobaria in TJM (1993) moved to Coryphantha. —Scientific Editors: Bruce D. Parfitt, Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Hunt 2006 The New Cactus Lexicon, DH Books, Milborne Port, England]

Key to Cactaceae


J. Mark Porter & Edward F. Anderson

Erect or ascending, branches generally 0. Stem: 5–20 cm, 2–12 cm diam, ovoid to cylindric, not segmented, firm; ribs 8–21, prominent; tubercles distinct along ribs. Spines: [2]10–24 per areole, 0.3–2.1 mm diam, needle-like or awl-shaped, straight to curved or hooked; central spines 1–11 per areole. Flower: ± terminal, from upper edge of spine cluster, 25–75 mm diam; perianth ± green-yellow to magenta; ovary glabrous, spineless, scales sparse, rounded, ciliate at least near tip. Fruit: dehiscent by 2–4 short longitudinal slits, cylindric to ± spheric, spines 0. Seed: 2–3.7 mm, reniform, tubercled, glossy or shiny, black.
± 25 species: southwestern United States, Mexico. (Greek: hard or cruel cactus)

Key to Sclerocactus

S. polyancistrus (Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow) Britton & Rose MOJAVE FISHHOOK CACTUS
Stem: 10–45 cm, cylindric; ribs 13–17. Spines: white, red, or dark ± red-brown; central spines of 2 kinds, hooked central spines 5–10 cm, red-brown, distal-most central spines 3.7–8.6(13) cm; radial spines 10–15 per areole, 2–5 cm, 0.3–0.5 mm wide at base, white, flat. Flower: rose-purple to magenta. Fruit: 20–30 mm, 15–20 mm diam; scales narrow, ciliate near tip.
Limestone areas, hills and canyons, alluvial slopes; creosote-bush scrub, Joshua-tree woodland; 750–2100 m. White and Inyo Mountains, Mojave Desert; Nevada. Apr–Jun [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}
Unabridged synonyms: [Echinocactus polyancistrus Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow]

Previous taxon: Sclerocactus johnsonii
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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Sclerocactus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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click for enlargement Sclerocactus polyancistrus
See CalPhotos for additional images
2006 Trent M. Draper

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Sclerocactus polyancistrus Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.