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
- New Mexico
On sandy clay hills of the Nacimiento Formation, in desert scrub and scattered juniper communities at 5000 to 6400ft (1,500-1,950 m). (Daniela Roth. 2001, New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1998)
|Because of its recent separation from Sclerocactus cloverae, S. cloverae ssp. brackii has not been adequately surveyed. More research on population sizes should be conducted.|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Germination trials have been initiated by The Arboretum at Flagstaff, and are on-going. (Sheila Murray, 2008)
Mark Porter has secured funding for an expanded DNA study of Sclerocactus from the Cactus and Succulent Society, and is conducting a taxonomic review of Sclerocactus in collaboration with J. Travis Columbus and Kenneth D. Heil. (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden website, 2009)
Develop a propagation protocol
Kartesz, J.T. 1994. synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. Portland, OR. Timber Press.
Martin, W.C.; Hutchins, C.R. 1980. A flora of New Mexico. Strauss & Cramer.
New Mexico Native plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM. University of New Mexico Press.