Sclerocactus polyancistrus from Sud Tonapah, Nevada
A colourful assortment of red and white spines.
It is easily recognized by
stem size, numerous hooked, dense,
central spines (five to
nine) clothing and obscuring stems
in a colourful assortment of red and white
spines and large flowers with spicy, pungent
Single or in
clusters, cylindric or +/-
10-40 ◊ 5-9 cm; ribs 13-17.
Dense, obscuring stems;
radial spines 10-18 per areole, white, straight, flat, 20-50 mm,
central spines 9-12 per
areole, 5-8 hooked, red or reddish
brown (infrequently yellow), some hooked, 30-100 mm;
central spines usually 3 per areole, white, usually curved or
twisted, flat, usually 35-130.
With spicy, pungent
funnelform, 5-10 cm; outer greenish purple
rose-purple or magenta margins, rose-purple to magenta (infrequently
white), blooming in Apr-Jun.
green, tan, or red,
barrel-shaped, 2.2-5 cm,
maturity; Notes: S. polyancistrus is the
only component of the
genus that lacks
papillae on the
style possesses grooves, somewhat reminiscent of
Engelm. & J.M.Bigelow) Britton & Rose
in: Cact. 3: 213. 1922.
Common Names include:
cactus, Pineapple cactus,
The range of occurrence of S. polyancistrus
goes from South-western Nevada to south-eastern California.
It grows in a very
arid and dry environment, on
rocky alluvial, often
alkaline soils, on basalt rock hillsides
limestone hillsides and desert pavement; on south to southwest-facing slopes among Mojave creosote-bush and desert scrub; 500-2500
- Echinocactus polyancistrus Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow,
Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 3: 272. 1856, U.S. Senate Rept. Expl. & Surv.
R. R. Route a
Pacific Ocean. Botany. 4:29 pl.2,f.1-2, 1857.
- Pediocactus polyancistrus
(Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow)
G. Arp, Cact. & Succt. J. (US) 44:222, 1972.
- Ferocactus polyancistrus
(Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow) N. P. Taylor
This plant need a
full sun exposure
(Avoid any shadow!)
Cultivation: This is one of the most beautiful cacti but also
one of the more difficult to be cultivated.
rot! Only few people have tried for long time to cultivate it,
usually after a few months the plant inexorably
Itís thought thatís better to watch this species in photo or in
rather than to try to cultivate it.
For this reasons the plant is usually
grafted on a
This plant need
full sun and a very good
ventilation, especially in
Seeds are extremely difficult to
germinate (only 2-3 percent of seeds
germination is really difficult and if some
finally sprout, as they start to grows they disappear one by one. Grafting is often used to speed growth rate and to
create a back-up for plants in collection.