Sclerocactus cloverae

Common Names:
None Known
Castetter, Pierce & Schwerin
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Arboretum at Flagstaff

The conservation of Sclerocactus cloverae is fully sponsored.
Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins contributed to this Plant Profile.


Sclerocactus cloverae ssp. brackii is a small, solitary cactus only 3-8 cm tall and 2-7 cm wide. It usually has 4 or 5 central spines, straw colored to brown, and the lower spine is hooked and about 3 cm long. Purple flowers appear from late April to May, and result in small, 1-5 mm long fruits. This subspecies differs from S. cloverae ssp. cloverae by first producing flowers when they are 3 cm or less in diameter (Daniela Roth. 2001). Also differs in that the reduced spination of juveniles lasts for several years and persists on plants of early reproductive maturity to as large as 10 cm tall and 10 cm across. If plants survive to such a size, they all produce typical adult spination eventually and become indistinguishable from adults of typical S. cloverae. (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1998)

In Flora of North America, Volume 4 (2003), Sclerocactus cloverae ssp. brackii is included in synonymy under Sclerocactus cloverae with a discussion at the end of the species' account stating, "Populations with all reproductive individuals maintaining juvenile morphology have been segregated as S. cloverae subsp. brackii K.D. Heil & J.M. Porter." Discussions with Ken Heil, author of both the FNA treatment and Heil and Porter (1994), indicate that he believes Sclerocactus cloverae ssp. brackii should be recognized as a distinct entity. This subspecies has been known since about 1982 as Sclerocactus gradyi, but that name was never validly published. (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1998)

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research