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Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus

Echinocactus polycephalus Engelm. & Bigelow var. polycephalus

 

Cottontop Cactus, Cotton Top Cactus, Biznaga de Chilitos, Harem Cactus, Many-headed Barrel Cactus, Woolly-headed Barrel Cactus

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyCactaceaeSucculent (water-storing) plants, often spiny
GenusEchinocactusFrom echinos, “hedgehog or spine,” and cactus
SpeciespolycephalusMany-headed
var.polycephalusMany-headed

About plant names...

This subspecies of the cotton top cactus is the most common, growing at the lower elevations of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

Identification: These cacti occurs in clumps of up to 30 stems, each of which are round or cylindrical, 12-24" (30-60 cm) high and 4-8" (10-20 cm) around. Each stem has 13-21 ribs, densely covered with spines in groups of 6-8. Yellow flowers have pink midribs, and are up to 1¾" (5 cm) around. Fruits are ⅜-¾" (1.2-2 cm) long, and covered with white hairs.

Echinocactus polycephalus (Cottontop Cactus, Cotton Top Cactus, Biznaga de Chilitos, Harem Cactus, Many-headed Barrel Cactus, Woolly-headed Barrel Cactus)

©2004, Heath McAllister

References:

Anderson, Edward F., The Cactus Family, Timber Press, 2001, p. 229

Online References:

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus on CalPhotos

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus on Calflora

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus on Cactus Art: the World of Cacti & Succulents

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus on Wayne's Word

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus from the Jepson Manual

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus on eFloras

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Echinocactus polycephalus (Cottontop Cactus, Cotton Top Cactus, Biznaga de Chilitos, Harem Cactus, Many-headed Barrel Cactus, Woolly-headed Barrel Cactus)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm)

Echinocactus polycephalus (Cottontop Cactus, Cotton Top Cactus, Biznaga de Chilitos, Harem Cactus, Many-headed Barrel Cactus, Woolly-headed Barrel Cactus)

2/17/2007 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA

Range:

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