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Coryphantha alversonii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CactaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 125 genera, +- 1800 species: America (especially deserts), Africa; many cultivated, some edible. Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce D. Parfitt, Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CoryphanthaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Generally erect, not branched, or if branched then forming low +- 50 cm diam clumps with up to 12[200] branches. Stem: not segmented; 2--15 cm, 2--15 cm diam, spheric, ovoid, or cylindric, soft-fleshy to firm, ribs 0, tubercles conic to cylindric, grooved along distal surface from base (axil) to spine cluster at tip. Spines: 3--95 per areole, < 1 mm diam, needle-like, smooth, straight [curved or hooked]; central spines 3--12. Flower: +- at stem tip, in axil of tubercle; 6--37[100] mm diam; perianth +- yellow-green to rose-pink or +- purple; ovary glabrous, spines 0, scales generally 0--few, fringed [entire]. Fruit: indehiscent, wide-ellipsoid to narrowly obovoid, spineless. Seed: 1.3--2.3 mm, reniform, pitted, black or brown.
Species In Genus: 16 species: western United States, Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: crown + flower, referring to top flower position)

Coryphantha alversonii (J.M. Coult.) Orcutt
Habit: Occasionally +- decumbent. Stem: generally 1, 10--27 cm, 6--9 cm diam, cylindric. Spines: per areole 8--10 centrally, 12--18 radially. Flower: +- 3 cm diam, inner perianth widely spreading, pale to deep rose-pink or rose-violet, midstripe conspicuously darker; stigma lobes widely spreading, white. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Sandy or rocky alluvium, creosote-bush scrub; Elevation: 75--600 m. Bioregional Distribution: s DMoj, DSon. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: Threatened by collecting.
Synonyms: Escobaria vivipara (Nutt.) Buxb. var. alversonii (J.M. Coult.) D.R. Hunt; Coryphantha vivipara (Nutt.) Britton & Rose var. alversonii (J.M. Coult.) L.D. Benson; Mammillaria alversonii (J.M. Coult.) Zeiss.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Coryphantha
Next taxon: Coryphantha chlorantha

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botanical illustration including Coryphantha alversonii


Citation for this treatment: Bruce D. Parfitt 2016. Coryphantha alversonii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 27, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 27, 2016.

Coryphantha alversonii
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© 2012 Keir Morse
Coryphantha alversonii
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© 2013 Barry Rice
Coryphantha alversonii
click for enlargement
© 2013 Barry Rice
Coryphantha alversonii
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Coryphantha alversonii
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Coryphantha alversonii
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer

More photos of Coryphantha alversonii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Coryphantha alversonii:
s DMoj, DSon.
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.