CPC Plant Profile: Lloyd's Mariposa Cactus
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Plant Profile

Lloyd's Mariposa Cactus (Sclerocactus mariposensis)

A closeup view of this spiny plant and its fruit. Photo Credit: Kathy Rice
Description
  • Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • State: MX, TX
  • Nature Serve ID: 128018
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

Echinocactus mariposensis is a solitary, diminutive-sized cactus that grows to only about 10-15 cm tall, and 8 cm in diameter at maturity. The plant has a grayish appearance overall, and on closer inspection, delicate, brown-tipped central spines can be seen arising from the many-spined tubercules. Flowers are not showy or large, and are clustered at the apex of plants. Petals are whitish with the tepals brown-tinged. Light green fruits are formed beneath the apical spines, and do not dry at maturity.

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 09/28/2020
  • Propagation Research

Seeds have not yet been produced on cultivated plants grown to maturity. Additional germination studies are needed.

  • 09/28/2020
  • Demographic Research

Desert Botanical Garden staff are assisting Big Bend National Park staff in continuation of monitoring of permanent plots established by Dr. E.A. Anderson.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

This species' range is restricted to southern Brewster County, Texas and eastern/central Coahuila, Mexico. More common than once though, the species is abundant within its habitat with many healthy populations known. Threats include wild collection for the horticulture trade and road maintenance.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Threats to documented sites are related primarily to illegal collection. Anderson (1986) concluded a three-year study of this species for Joint Task Force 6 with a recommendation to the USFWS for reconsideration of conservation status.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Known from about 30 sites, many of which occur within Black Gap Wildlife Management Area and Big Bend National Park (Texas Parks and Wildlife 2002).

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

None known.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Management is for elimination of direct or indirect threats to the species. Desert Botanical Garden staff are assisting Big Bend National Park staff in continuation of monitoring of permanent plots established by Dr. E.A. Anderson.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Research needs include understanding seed dormancy/ecology, seedling establishment and recruitment, allocation to growth and reproduction, and impact of herbivory. Monitoring of natural populations would help assess the threat of collecting on the species.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Seeds have not yet been produced on cultivated plants grown to maturity. Additional germination studies are needed.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Sclerocactus mariposensis
Authority (Hester) N.P. Taylor
Family Cactaceae
CPC Number 2941
ITIS 505079
USDA SCMA6
Common Names Lloyd's mariposa cactus | Lloyd's fishhook cactus | Biznaga-bola de Mariposa | golfball cactus | silver column cactus
Associated Scientific Names Echinocactus mariposensis | Sclerocactus mariposensis | Echinomastus mariposensis | Neolloydia mariposensis | Pediocactus mariposensis
Distribution Documented sites have been reported from many locations in the Big Bend National Park area, and from northern Coahuila, Mexico. (USFWS 2002)
State Rank
State State Rank
Mexico *FR83
Texas S2
Habitat

The plants are found growing out in the open sun on gentle bajadas on a rocky limestone substrate in the Chihuahuan Desert. (Texas Parks and Wildlife 2002)

Ecological Relationships

Ecological relationships are unknown, however this species is associated with: Fluorensia cernua, Forestiera angustifolia, Acacia schottii, Yucca rostrata, Larrea tridentata, Agave lechuguilla, Ephedra viridis, and many other small cactus species (Schmalzel et al. 1995).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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