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Overview

Distribution

Global Range: California near the coast from Del Mar south and inland nearly as far as Otay. Mexico in northwest Baja California Benson, 1969).

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Range Description

This species is found in Mexico, in the state of Baja California, and in the United States in the state of California (Hunt et al. 2006) at 10 to 1,000 m asl (Pilbeam and Bowdery 2005).
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Ferocactus viridescens can be characterized by a principal central spine that is neither bristlelike nor yellow and rigid, but very stout, rigid, pointing downward through its entire length, this evident in the older areoles on the side of the plant; stem short and turgid, but length usually greater than diameter, 15-30(45) cm long, 20-35 cm in diameter (Benson, 1982).

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Synonym

Echinocactus viridescens Torrey & A. Gray, Fl. N. Amer. 1: 554. 1840
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: It occurs on sandy or gravelly soils of hillsides in the chaparral; 30 to 50 feet elevation (Benson, 1969).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The species occurs in shrubland/chaparral, grassland/herbaceous in sandy or gravelly soils of hillsides in the chaparral. Pilbeam and Bowdery (2005) reported it from rocky hills or sandy flat areas with grass, near the coast and in chaparral inland, in seacoast bluffs and on rocky bluffs.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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General Ecology

Ferocactus species are likely to utilize nurse plants to access favorable microhabitat conditions early in development.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Persistence: PERENNIAL

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Reproduction

All Ferocactus species produce fleshy-fruits which are consumed and dispersed by animals (Valiente-Banuet and Godinez-Alvarez 2002).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Porter, J.M.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Ferocactus viridescens has a wide range and, even though there is some decrease in the population, this is not sufficient to warrant listing in a threatened category. Hence, this cactus is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The species is locally abundant. Part of the species range has disappeared (see Threats). The population is slowly decreasing.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Comments: Most cacti subject to horticultural collecting.

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Major Threats
Urban expansion on part of its range in the United States and Baja California, Mexico (close to Tijuana) have fragmented and extirpated the species from a number of locations. This dimishes southwards, however agriculture affects this portion of the range at a smaller scale.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Some management exists in a military basis near San Diego. It occurs in a state park, Point Loma Ecological Reserve. There is little conservation in Mexico. This species is legally protected in Mexico by the national list of species at risk of extinction, NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, where it is listed under category “threatened” (A; SEMARNAT 2010).
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Wikipedia

Ferocactus viridescens

Ferocactus viridescens is a rare species of barrel cactus known by several common names, including Coast barrel cactus and San Diego barrel cactus. It is native to southern California and northern Baja California. Most of its native range is in San Diego County, California, where it is threatened by development, agriculture, and other alterations in its habitat.

This cactus is spherical, oblate, or nearly cylindrical, is usually wider than tall, and less than 30 centimeters in height. The flesh is bright green and arranged into several ribs covered in arrays of long spines. The spines stick straight out and may curve a bit, and are red when new, dulling to gray or tan. The cactus blooms in yellow to greenish flowers with red or pink scales. The fruit is yellow or red.

The Latin specific epithet viridescens means "turning green".[1]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[2]

  1. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Ferocactus viridescens". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
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