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Vascular Plants of California
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Grusonia parishii

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: GrusoniaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CLUB-CHOLLA
Habit: Perennial herb or shrub, erect to decumbent, many-branched, matted, succulent. Stem: winter- or drought-deciduous, regularly segmented, segments < 30 cm, < 6 cm diam, cylindric to club-shaped, fleshy, glabrous; ribs 0, tubercles generally elongate, occasionally 0. Leaf: deciduous. Spines: 0--many per areole, densest and longest near stem tip, < 4 mm wide, awl- to dagger-shaped, flat to angular, straight, roughened, tip smooth or barbed, epidermis at spine tip separating as a papery sheath; glochids generally numerous in each areole. Flower: lateral to terminal on stem, from upper portion of areole, 30--50 mm diam; perianth yellow or pink; ovary glabrous, spines 0--many, glochids many in each areole, scales 0. Fruit: indehiscent, obconic, base generally long-tapering, glabrous to densely spiny, glochids many in each areole. Seed: 3--6 mm, +- round, encased in an aril; bony, +- white when dry.
Species In Genus: 14 species: North America, Mexico. Etymology: (Hermann August Jacques Gruson, German engineer, industrialist, 1821--1895) Note: Hybridization unknown.
eFlora Treatment Author: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman
Grusonia parishii (Orcutt) Pinkava
Habit: Mats or clumps < 2 m diam. Stem: 10--20 cm, from fibrous roots; segments +- obovoid, basal to terminal < 7.5 cm, 2--3 cm diam; tubercles 12--25 mm, 3--8 mm high. Spines: < 21, < 5 cm, largest flat, gray to brown, margin white, thick, sheath separating only at tip. Flower: inner perianth 1.5--2.5 cm; filaments green. Fruit: 4.5--8 cm, fleshy, yellow; spines 0 or easily detached. Seed: 3--4.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Sandy, gravelly flats generally in creosote-bush/bur-sage scrub; Elevation: 300--1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNE, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: southern Nevada, western Arizona. Flowering Time: May--Jun
Synonyms: Opuntia parishii Orcutt; Opuntia stanlyi Engelm.; Opuntia stanlyi var. parishii (Orcutt) L.D. Benson
Jepson eFlora Author: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman 2012, Grusonia parishii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 15, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 15, 2019.

Grusonia parishii
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© 2013 Barry Rice
Grusonia parishii
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© 2013 Barry Rice
Grusonia parishii
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© 2004 James M. Andre
Grusonia parishii
click for enlargement
© 2013 Barry Rice
Grusonia parishii
click for enlargement
© 2012 James M. Andre
Grusonia parishii
click for enlargement
© 2013 Barry Rice

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Geographic subdivisions for Grusonia parishii:
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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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Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.