Ancistrocactus brevihamatus

(Engelmann) Britton & Rose

Cact. 4: 5. 1923.

Common names: Short-spined fishhook cactus Tobusch cactus
Basionyms: Echinocactus brevihamatus Engelmann Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 3: 271. 1856
Synonyms: Ancistrocactus tobuschii (W. T. Marshal l) W. T. Marshall ex Backeberg Sclerocactus brevihamatus (Engelmann) D. R. Hunt Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii (W. T. Marshall) N. P. Taylor
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 210. Mentioned on page 208, 211.

Plants unbranched, deep-seated in substrate when young, inconspicuous. Roots diffuse or vertical, short, conic, cylindric, or hemispheric taproots, junction with stem obscure or inconspicuous. Stems spheric (to obconic or subcylindric in very old plants), flat-topped (in deep-seated young plants), (3–) 4.5–10 (–15) × (1.5–) 4.5–8 (–15) cm. Spines: radial spines 7–14 (–18) per areole, opaque, yellowish to tan, tips yellowbrown to dark-brown, turning gray, longest radial spines (5–) 10–18 (–29) × 0.1–0.5 mm; central spines (1–) 4 (–5) per areole; abaxial central spine 1 per areole, hooked (absent on immature plants and youngest adults), ± terete, angled, ridged, or dorsiventrally flattened, generally yellowish-brown, rust, or dark-brown, paler on abaxial surface, 7–43 × 0.4–1.5 mm; adaxial central spines (2–) 3–4 per areole, erect, straight or weakly curved, adaxial surface flat (to 2 times as wide as thick), pale yellowish to gray or tan with dark tips, 1–2 times length of hooked spine (to at least 65 mm), to 1.1 mm wide. Flowers: inner tepals whitish, bright pink, or bright-yellow, often pinkish brown or olive green with reddish-brown midstripes. Fruits 8–25 (–30) × 6–13 mm.


Phenology: Flowering Jan–Mar.
Habitat: Tamaulipan thorn scrub, Chihuahuan desert scrub, sparse grasslands, oak and juniper woodlands, creosotebush flats, sedimentary substrates including limestone [and gypsum in Mexico], usually not on steep slopes, rocky to gravelly soils
Elevation: 300-1300 m

Distribution

V4 391-distribution-map.gif

Tex., Mexico (Coahuila), Mexico (Nuevo León)

Discussion

Without its smaller flowers, indehiscent fruits, and different seeds, Ancistrocactus brevihamatus is deceptively similar to certain species in the related genus Sclerocactus.

Ancistrocactus tobuschii pertains to the north-easternmost populations, from typical A. brevihamatus by yellow flowers, rarely with a hint of pink (pinkish, greenish, or brownish in A. brevihamatus), smaller stems and fruits, and thinner, more delicate and yellow spines. All of those characteristics, sometimes considered diagnostic for A. tobuschii, are unsatisfactory. The oldest plants of A. tobuschii are especially similar to A. brevihamatus, but A. tobuschii occupies marginal habitat and seldom survives long. Varietal status may be warranted for this and at least two other ecogeographical races within the species.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

paler +, dark-brown +, rust +  and yellowish-brown +
0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br /> (4.3 cm43 mm <br />0.043 m <br />) +
0.04 cm0.4 mm <br />4.0e-4 m <br /> (0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br />) +
curved +  and straight +
pale yellowish;gray or tan +
1-2 times length of hooked spine +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.11 cm1.1 mm <br />0.0011 m <br />) +
cushionlike +
deciduous +  and persistent +
newer +  and maturity +
elongate +
1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br /> (1.8 cm18 mm <br />0.018 m <br />) +
Allan D. Zimmerman +  and Bruce D. Parfitt +
(Engelmann) Britton & Rose +
hardened +
Echinocactus brevihamatus +
triangular +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
Short-spined fishhook cactus +  and Tobusch cactus +
mucilaginous +
tuberculate +
notched +
Tex. +, Mexico (Coahuila) +  and Mexico (Nuevo León) +
300-1300 m +
not separating +
2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
white;pink tinge;white;pink tinge;dull;tan;yellowish;brownish purple;suffused pink;green +
indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
8mm;25mm +
ovoid +  and cylindric +
succulent +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (1.3 cm13 mm <br />0.013 m <br />) +
Tamaulipan thorn scrub, Chihuahuan desert scrub, sparse grasslands, oak and juniper woodlands, creosotebush flats, sedimentary substrates including limestone [and gypsum in Mexico], usually not on steep slopes, rocky to gravelly soils +
1.7 cm17 mm <br />0.017 m <br /> (2.4 cm24 mm <br />0.024 m <br />) +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br />) +
0.25 cm2.5 mm <br />0.0025 m <br /> (1.7 cm17 mm <br />0.017 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
rudimentary +
flat +  and terete +
nearly +  and microscopic +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br />) +
tuberculate +
fluted;spheric;depressed-spheric or club-shaped +
1.8 cm18 mm <br />0.018 m <br /> (2.9 cm29 mm <br />0.029 m <br />) +
5mm +  and 18mm +
0.01 cm0.1 mm <br />1.0e-4 m <br /> (0.05 cm0.5 mm <br />5.0e-4 m <br />) +
reddish-brown +
deciduous +  and persistent +
Flowering Jan–Mar. +
mucilaginous +
older +  and young +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
distinct +
indistinct +
hemispheric +, cylindric +  and conic +
fringed +
arillate +  and strophiolate +
0.04 cm0.4 mm <br />4.0e-4 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
minutely +  and papillate +
spheric;helmet-shaped or reniform +
yellowish +  and tan +
straight +
deciduous +  and persistent +
7 (?) +  and 14 (?) +
decurrent +
stipitate +  and unsegmented +
8 cm80 mm <br />0.08 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
dark gray-green +  and pale blue-green +
4.5cm;10cm +
inconspicuous +  and obscure +
flat-topped +  and spheric +
succulent +
4.5cm;8cm +
rose-pink +, yellowish +, green +  and white +
tuberculate +
Ancistrocactus tobuschii +, Sclerocactus brevihamatus +  and Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Ancistrocactus brevihamatus +
Ancistrocactus +
species +
flat +  and weakly convex +
dull +  and glossy +
1.8 cm18 mm <br />0.018 m <br /> (2.9 cm29 mm <br />0.029 m <br />) +
dark +, yellowbrown +  and dark-brown +
10mm +  and 18mm +
0.01 cm0.1 mm <br />1.0e-4 m <br /> (?) +  and 0.05 cm0.5 mm <br />5.0e-4 m <br /> (?) +
epiphytic;epiphytic;epiphytic +
barrel-shaped +  and spheric +