Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Corynopuntia aggeria is found in the United States within the Big Bend region of Texas and in Mexico within the Northeastern Chihuahuan Desert, specifically the extreme southeast region of Presidio County and the southern half of Brewster County at elevations of 549 to 1067 m asl (Powell and Weedin 2004).
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Known from the southern half of Brewster County, Texas, where it is most common at low altitudes within 15 - 30 km of the Rio Grande. Its range extends into adjacent southeastern Presidio County, Texas along and near the Rio Grande and across the Rio Grande into adjacent Mexico. In Mexico, it is known from Coahuila, possibly extending as far south as Cuatro Cienegas. It presumably also occurs in northeastern Chihuahua but has not as yet been collected there. It is "relatively ubiquitous" on gypsum and unconsolidated substrates within its range (Powell and Weedin 2004).

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Tex.; Mexico (Coahuila).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Shrubs, forming clumps, 3-9 cm. Roots tuberlike, 7-8 × 2.5-3 cm. Stem segments short cylindric to clavate, 3.5-9 × 1.5-3 cm; tubercles 8-18(-22) mm; areoles circular 3-4 mm in diam.; wool yellowish white. Spines (1-)5-15 per areole, mostly in distal areoles, 3-5 cm; major 1-3 abaxial spines deflexed, usually chalky white (at least adaxially), flattened to angular-flattened, longest central abaxial spine commonly twisted or curved (at times the only spine in depauperate specimens, those mostly from Big Bend region of Texas); major 0-5 adaxial spines divergent, ascending, brown to blackish and sometimes chalky, ± terete. Glochids adaxial in areole, yellow, to 4 mm. Flowers: inner tepals bright yellow, 25 mm; filaments green; style cream; stigma lobes pale yellow-green. Fruits yellow, aging gray, cylindric to ellipsoid, 20-25(-50) × 10-15 mm, becoming dry, spineless, glochidiate; areoles 25-35. Seeds yellowish to brownish, ± circular, to 5 mm in diam., with various numbers and sizes of bumps. 2n = 22.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Opuntia aggeria Ralston & Hilsenbeck, Madroño 36: 226, fig. 2. 1989
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Corynopuntia aggeria is a ground cholla, as it is low, matted, and mound forming (Powell and Weedin 2004). It can be found growing on loosely consolidated igneous or calcareous desert alluvial soils on flat or gentle slopes in xerophyllous scrub. It flowers between late March and April (Wauer and Fleming 2002).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: Chihuahuan Desert, scrub with creosote bush. On loosely consolidated, silty to gravelly desert alluvium on flats or lower slopes; gypseous, igneous or limestone substrates. 600-1500 m.

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Chihuahuan Desert, sandy or gravelly flats, scrub with creosote bush, lower slopes, limestone or igneous substrates; 600-1500m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring (Mar-May).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Bárcenas Luna, R.

Reviewer/s
Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.

Contributor/s

Justification
Corynopuntia aggeria is listed as Least Concern because it has a large population and does not have any major threats.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable

Reasons: Known from the southern half of Brewster County, Texas, where it is most common within 15 - 30 km of the Rio Grande; its range extends into adjacent southeastern Presidio County, Texas along and near the Rio Grande and across the Rio Grande into adjacent Mexico. In Mexico, it is known from Coahuila, possibly extending as far south as Cuatro Cienegas, and it presumably also occurs in northeastern Chihuahua but has not as yet been collected there. Occurs within creosote bush desert scrub communities on loosely consolidated, silty to gravelly desert alluvium of gypsum, igneous material or limestone from 600 to 1500 m. It is "relatively ubiquitous" on gypsum and unconsolidated substrates within its range.

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Population

Population
The species is found in scattered, high density populations.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is found in Big Bend National Park in Texas, United States. It is not found in any protected areas in Mexico. It occurs in an arid area that is not attractive for development.
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Notes

Comments

Grusonia aggeria is based on the "type" of "Opuntia grahamii × O. schottii" described by M. S. Anthony (1956). It is not a hybrid, however, between the two tetraploid putative parental taxa; it is instead a fully fertile, diploid species.
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