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Micropuntia barkleyana
(Syn:  Grusonia pulchella)

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NURSERY

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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Micropuntia barkleyana Daston (1946) Published in: Amer. Midl. Nat. 36 (3): 661(1946)

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common NamesSand cholla, Dwarf Cholla, Sand club-cholla, beautifull cholla

Micropuntia pulchella distribution mapDistribution range  of Micropuntia pulchella: Northern Mojave Desert from eastern California (Deep Springs Valley)  to southern Utah and Nevada  (Churchill, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lander, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, and Washoe counties) and Arizona. Elevation : 1100-1900 meters.

Habitat :
"Sand Mountain, Sand of dunes, dry-lake borders, river bottoms, washes, valleys, sandy to rocky flats or slopes,  and plains in the desert.
Mainly on sandy soils but also found in a variable range of soil types  "

Synonyms:

  • Grusonia pulchella (Engelmann) Robinson,
    Published in: Phytologia 26 (3): 176 (1973)
  • Opuntia pulchella Engelmann,
    Published in: Trans. St. Louis Acad. 2: 201(1863)
  • Corynopuntia pulchella (Engelmann) Knuth in Backeberg & Knuth,
    Published in: Kaktus-ABC 115 (1935)
  • Micropuntia pulchella (Engelmann) M.P. Griffith,
    Published in: Haseltonia 9:91 (2002)
  • Micropuntia barkleyana Daston,
    Published in:Amer. Midl. Nat. 36 (3): 661(1946)
  • Opuntia barkleyana (Daston) Rowley,
    Published in: Nat. Cact. & Succ. Journ.13 (1): 5 (1958)
  • Micropuntia brachyrhophalica Daston
    Published in: Amer. Midl. Nat. 36 (3):661 (1946)
  • Opuntia brachyrhopalica (Daston) Rowley
    Published in: Nat. Cact. & Succ. Journ. 13 (1): 5 (1958)
  • Micropuntia spectatissima Daston,
    Published in: Amer. Midl. Nat. 36 (3):661 (1946)
  • Opuntia spectatissima (Daston) Rowley
    Published in: Nat. Cact. & Succ.Journ. 13 (1): 5 (1958)
  • Micropuntia gracilicylindrica Wiegand & Backeberg,
    Published in: Descr. Cact.Nov. [1]: 9 (1956)
  • Opuntia gracilicylindrica (Wiegand & Backeberg) Rowley,
    Published in: Nat.Cact. & Succ. Journ. 13 (1): 5 (1958)
  • Micropuntia pygmaea Wiegand & Backeberg,
    Published in: Descr. Cact. Nov.[1]: 9 (1956)
  • Opuntia pygmaea (Wiegand & Backeberg) Rowley,
    Published in: Nat. Cact. & Succ. Journ. 13 (1): 5 (1958)
  • Micropuntia tuberculosirhophalica Wiegand & Backeberg
    Published in: Descr.Cact. Nov. [1]: 9 (1956)
  • Opuntia tuberculosirhophalica (Wiegand & Backeberg) Rowley, Published in: Nat.Cact. & Succ. Journ. 13 (1): 5 (1958)
  • Micropuntia wiegandii Backeberg,
    Published in: Descr. Cact. Nov. [1]: 9 (1956)
  • Micropuntia gigantea Wiegand & Backeberg,
    Published in: Descr. Cact. Nov.[1]: 9 (1956) pro syn.
  • Opuntia wiegandii (Backeberg) Rowley,
    Published in: Nat. Cact. & Succ.Journ. 13 (1): 5 (1958)

Description:  Attractive mini Opuntia, forming low sub-erected shrubs  more or less dense and large, spread cushions hiding a large tuber below ground.
Stem segments
: Cylindric to ellipsoid, clavate, 1-4(-10) 0.5-1.2(-2.5) cm; tubercles
purple tinged rather prominent, 5-9 mm;  
Spines
: 8-15 per areole, mostly in distal areoles
at the tip of the stem, divergent to deflexed, red-brown or white, aging grey, somewhat flattened, with woolly areoles white to grey.
Flowers: rose to purple; 15-35 mm; filaments green to yellow; style purplish; stigma lobes white to yellowish. Flowering late spring (May-June).
Roots: The root system of young specimens is fibrous, but will slowly enlarge to form a corky caudex with short tuberose roots.
Fruits: Reddish obconic to ellipsoids, 15-30 8-12 mm smooth and juicy in a first time, becoming quickly dry.
 

 



A 12 years old specimen showing the characteristic corky caudex and the tuberose root. The caudex will take several years to develop.

Cultivation:  This plant is not easy to grow.  Good resistance to the cold (-10C) but it can't stand humidity. Plants are susceptible to overwatering and are extremely rot-prone. They have sensitive roots . Keep the plants away from places with elevated humidity in the air. They need to grow in a very ventilated and dry environment, in full sun. They need to be kept in a cool (and dry) place during winter rest (at -5 / 10C). This is important for the flowers as well as for their health. Without this cool winter period they normally won't get many buds.

Propagation:  Cutting or (rarely) seeds. Rooting of cuttings is generally difficult.
 

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Micropuntia pulchella .

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.