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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Cactaceae | Grusonia

8. Grusonia pulchella (Engelmann) H. Robinson, Phytologia. 26: 176. 1973.

Sand club-cholla

Opuntia pulchella Engelmann, Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 201. 1863; Corynopuntia pulchella (Engelmann) F. M. Knuth; Micropuntia barkleyana Daston; M. brachyrhopalica Daston; M. gracilicylindrica Daston; M. pygmaea Wiegand & Backeberg; M. spectatissima Daston; M. tuberculosirhopalica Wiegand & Backeberg; M. wiegandii Backeberg

Shrubs, forming clumps, 10-20 cm. Roots tuberlike, 7-10 × 3.5-5(-7.5) cm. Stem segments cylindric to ellipsoid, clavate, 1-4(-10) × 0.5-1.2(-2.5) cm; tubercles rather prominent, 5-9 mm; areoles 1-2 mm in diam.; wool white to gray. Spines 8-15 per areole, mostly in distal areoles, divergent to deflexed, red-brown or white, aging gray, flattened, longest to 6 cm. Glochids adaxial in areole, yellow to reddish yellow, to 8 mm, barbed. Flowers: inner tepals rose to purple, 15-25 mm; filaments green to yellow; style purplish; stigma lobes white to yellowish. Fruits reportedly reddish, obconic, 15-30 × 8-12 mm, fleshy, smooth; spines hairlike, flexible, antrorsely barbed; areoles ± 50. Seeds whitish, 3-6 mm broad. 2n = 22.

Flowering late spring (May-Jul). Mojave Desert, Great Plains, sandy to rocky flats or slopes, often at edges of dry washes and lakes; 1200-1900 m; Calif., Nev., Utah.

Reports of Grusonia pulchella in Arizona (L. D. Benson 1969, 1982; J. Lode 1993) are undocumented (B. D. Parfitt 1988) or lack adequate specimens. Those reports resulted either from locality data errors or confusion with G. parishii or Cylindropuntia whipplei.


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