Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: It occurs in the Arizona Desert, the upper edge of Colorado Desert, and in Sonora, Mexico.
Catalog Number: US 795801
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: ; Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. G. Pringle
Year Collected: 1884
Locality: Mexico, Central America
- Lectotype: Britton, N. L. & Rose, J. N. 1922. Cactaceae. 3: 132.; Benson, L. D. 1982. Cacti U.S. Canada. 950.
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: Rocky hills and sandy or rocky flats (including wash margins, alluvial fans, and mesas) in the Arizona Desert and the upper edge of the Colorado Desert. Rocks are often limestone with a black patina or black lava or basalt. Occurs mostly between 450 and 915 m elevation in Arizona but at least 1 Sonoran population occurs at sea level.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Comments: Ten EO's (Benson 1982).
Ferocactus species are likely to utilize nurse plants for favorable microhabitat conditions early in development.
Life History and Behavior
All Ferocactus species produce fleshy-fruits which are consumed and dispersed by animals (Valiente-Banuet and Godinez-Alvarez 2002).
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: About 10 occurrences are known, all from south-central Arizona and adjacent northern Sonora, Mexico.
Comments: Most cacti subject to horticultural collecting.
Ferocactus emoryi is spherical or cylindrical solitary barrel cactus, light green to glaucous, reaching a diameter of 60–100 centimetres (24–39 in) and a height of 2–2.5 metres (6 ft 7 in–8 ft 2 in). It has 15 to 30 ribs with tubercles, especially in the juvenile stage. The spines are white to reddish. The central spine is very strong, 4-10 cm long, while the seven to twelve radial spines reach lengths of up to 6 cm. The large and funnel-shaped flowers are usually red or yellow, reach lengths of up to 7.5 centimeters and have a diameter of 5 to 7 centimeters. The fruit is ovoidal, about 5 cm long.
Ferocactus emoryi grows in the desert scrubs, hillsides, rocky slopes and gravely rocky or sandy soils, at an elevation of about 0–1,200 metres (0–3,937 ft) above sea level.
- Ferocactus emoryi var. emoryi
- Ferocactus emoryi var. rectispinus (Engelm.) N.P.Taylor
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee, e. 2003. Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1. In Fl. N. Amer.. Oxford University Press, New York.
- Tropicos: Ferocactus emoryi
- Cactiguide: Ferocactus emoryi
- The Plant List.org: Ferocactus emoryi
- Desert Tropicals: Ferocactus emoryi
- Cactus-art.biz: Ferocactus emoryi
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