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Sclerocactus polyancistrus

CACTUS ART
NURSERY

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Sclerocactus polyancistrus from Sud Tonapah, Nevada
A colourful assortment of red and white spines.
 

Description: It is easily recognized by its big 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 odour.
Stem: Single or in clusters, cylindric or  +/- elongate, 10-40 ◊ 5-9 cm; ribs 13-17.

Spines: 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; adaxial central spines usually 3 per areole, white, usually curved or twisted, flat, usually 35-130.
Flower: With spicy,  pungent odour, funnelform, 5-10 cm; outer greenish purple midstripes and rose-purple or magenta margins, rose-purple to magenta (infrequently white), blooming in Apr-Jun.
Fruit: green, tan, or red, barrel-shaped, 2.2-5 cm, dry at maturity; Notes: S. polyancistrus is the only component of the genus that lacks papillae on the style, and its style possesses grooves, somewhat reminiscent of Ferocactus.
 


 

 


 

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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Sclerocactus polyancistrus Engelm. & J.M.Bigelow) Britton & Rose
Pubblished in: Cact. 3: 213. 1922.

Common Names include:

  • Mojave eagle-claw cactus,
  • Hermit cactus, Pineapple cactus,
  • Red-spined fishhook cactus
  • Many-Spined Devil Claw

Distribution: The range of occurrence of S. polyancistrus goes from South-western Nevada to south-eastern California.

Habitat: 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 m.

Synonyms:
  • 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.
Very easily rot! Only few people have tried for long time to cultivate it, usually after a few months the plant inexorably dies.
Itís thought thatís better to watch this species in photo or in the natural habitat rather than to try to cultivate it.
For this reasons the plant is usually  grafted on a frost hardy stock.
This plant need full sun and a very good ventilation, especially in winter.

Propagation: Seeds are extremely difficult to germinate  (only 2-3 percent of seeds germinate) The germination is really difficult and if some seedling finally sprout, as they start to grows they disappear one by oneGrafting is often used to speed growth rate and to create a back-up for plants in collection.

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.