Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Grusonia pulchella

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 pulchella (Engelm.) H. Rob.
Habit: Perennial herb generally < 0.2 m diam, occasionally much larger. Stem: 10--20 cm, single to clumped, from glochid-covered tuber; segments narrowly club-shaped to cylindric, generally terminal < 10 cm, 0.5--2.5 cm diam; tubercles occasionally 0, generally 6--9 mm, < 1.5 mm high. Spines: < 15, < 6 cm, bulbous at base, largest flat, sharply angled; sheath separating only near tip; glochids of tuber generally 1--1.5 cm. Flower: inner perianth pink-magenta, 1.5--2.5 cm; filaments green to yellow. Fruit: 2--3 cm, fleshy, red; spines generally thin, numerous, crowded. Seed: 3--6 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Borders of dry lakes, sandy flats; Elevation: 1500--1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNE; Distribution Outside California: Nevada, western Utah. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: Highly variable; juvenile forms occasionally flower.
Synonyms: Opuntia pulchella Engelm.
Jepson eFlora Author: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Grusonia parishii
Next taxon: Mammillaria

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Grusonia pulchella

botanical illustration including Grusonia pulchella


Citation for this treatment: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman 2012, Grusonia pulchella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=88997, accessed on February 22, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 22, 2020.

Grusonia pulchella
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Grusonia pulchella
click for enlargement
© 1990 Gary A. Monroe
Grusonia pulchella
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Grusonia pulchella
click for enlargement
© 1990 Gary A. Monroe
Grusonia pulchella
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer

More photos of Grusonia pulchella in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Grusonia pulchella:
1. You can change the display of the base map and layers by clicking on the layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. California county polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
3. Filling of Jepson subdivision polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
4. Marker clustering can be turned on by clicking this link:      Marker Clustering ON
WARNING: This page may load slowly if there are large numbers of specimens in the database.
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).


View elevation by latitude chart

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).