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Vascular Plants of California
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Escobaria 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce D. Parfitt, Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: EscobariaView 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, broadly ellipsoid to narrowly obovoid, spineless. Seed: 1.3--2.3 mm, reniform, pitted, black or brown.
Etymology: (Rómulo & Numa Escobar, Mexico) Note: Escobaria_in the strict sense represents a distinct lineage from Coryphantha in the strict sense (western United States, Mexico) and Pelecyphora (Mexico) (Chincoya et al. 2023) and warrants generic recognition.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt & Lucas C. Majure
Reference: Taylor 1986 Cact Succ J Gr Brit 4:36--44; Chincoya et al. 2023 Biology 12:512.
Escobaria alversonii (J.M. Coult.) N.P. Taylor
Habit: Occasionally +- decumbent. Stem: generally 1, sometimes 2--10 or more, 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: Coryphantha alversonii (J.M. Coult.) Orcutt; Coryphantha vivipara (Nutt.) Britton & Rose var. alversonii (J.M. Coult.) L.D. Benson; Escobaria vivipara (Nutt.) Buxb. var. alversonii (J.M. Coult.) D.R. Hunt; Mammillaria alversonii (J.M. Coult.) Zeiss.; Pelecyphora alversonii (J.M. Coult.) D. Aquino & Dan. Sánchez
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce D. Parfitt & Lucas C. Majure
Reference: Taylor 1986 Cact Succ J Gr Brit 4:36--44; Chincoya et al. 2023 Biology 12:512.
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
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botanical illustration including Escobaria alversonii

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Citation for this treatment: Bruce D. Parfitt & Lucas C. Majure 2023, Escobaria alversonii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on June 15, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 15, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Escobaria alversonii.

Geographic subdivisions for Escobaria alversonii:
s DMoj, DSon.
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
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.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).