Sonoran Desert Cacti

Large to small cacti with with one to many straight or barrel-like stems normally with no branching above ground level.

Compass Barrel

Ferocactus cylindraceus

Fishhook Barrel Cactus

Ferocactus wislizenii

Usually single-stemmed and usu. < 2 meters tall, occas. to 4 m. Yellow flowers in late spring. The central spine may be strongly curved, but is not hooked. Found throughout much of the Sonoran Desert, but more common in northern and western portions. Detailed Description

Usually single-stemmed and usu. < 2 meters tall, occas. to 3 m. Deep orange flowers in summer months. Central spine is strongly hooked and there are a number of fine spines. Found throughout much of the Sonoran Desert, but more common in southern and eastern portions. Detailed Description

Coville's Barrel

Ferocactus emoryi

Cotton-top Cactus

Echinocactus polycephalus

Deep red flowers in summer months. Up to ten strong, curved spines and no fine spines. Found in southwestern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. Not found in other USA states. Detailed Description

Growing in clusters of several to many squat stems. Tips of stems have an abundance of cottony pubescence. Mojave Desert and western Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

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Engelmann Hedgehog

Echinocereus engelmannii

Graham's Pincushion

Mammillaria grahamii

Clumps of straight stems - sometimes as many as three dozen -about 50 cm tall. Flowers large and very showy appear mid to late spring. Densly covered with long spines. Common through much of the Sonoran Desert with variations in flower color and spine length. Detailed Description

Small cacti appearing as a single stem, or more commonly several clumping together. From each areole one spine is sharply hook-shaped. Showy flowers oversized for size of plant. Common on rockys slopes and often in partial shade of bursage or other desert shrubs. Common throughout the Sonoran Desert. Many varieties named based on flower color shades, length and number of spines and degree of clumping. Detailed Description

Pink-flower Hedgehog

Echinocereus fendleri var. bonkerae

Branching at ground level with up to 20 stems. Radial spines white. Very large pink flowers. Upland Sonoran Desert along eastern flanks. Detailed Description

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2014