CPC Plant Profile: Winkler's Pincushion Cactus
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Plant Profile

Winkler's Pincushion Cactus (Pediocactus winkleri)

This shot shows red flowers on a Winkler's pincushion cactus, which is nearly submerged in its rocky mud habitat. Photo Credit: ©R. Delmatier
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • State: UT
  • Nature Serve ID: 146686
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

This rare cactus is considered endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and listed in Appendix I of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In this designation, P. winkleri joins the ranks of other endangered species such as tigers, Asian elephants, chimpanzees and humpback whales. CITES was set up by the IUCN to address the international trade in wildlife, which processes billions of dollars annually while causing massive declines in the numbers of many species of animals and plants. CITES is a voluntary agreement among countries, and signatory countries to CITES ban commercial international trade in an agreed list of endangered species (Appendix I) and their products and by regulating and monitoring trade in others that might become endangered (Appendix II). Species that are on Appendix I, such as Pediocactus winkleri, are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by international commercial trade. This and other Appendix I species cannot be traded internationally for commercial purposes. (USFWS 2002) This small, subglobose to ovoid cactus produces large peach to pink flowers between March and May, depending on temperature and moisture. The cactus shrinks underground or back to the ground surface during the summer and winter months.

Participating Institutions
Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to a small area of south-central Utah. The species is restricted to a specific, alkaline soil type and is seriously threatened by cactus collectors and heavy grazing by cattle and wildlife, as well as disturbances from recreational use, off-road use, and possible coal and oil exploration.

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

This species is sought by both hobby and commercial cactus collectors--it has been listed under CITES since 1983, and so is illegal to trade or sell internationally as well as within the United States. (USFWS 2002) Grazing and mining development could

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

Known from four populations, totaling about 20,000 individuals. Populations are widely separated on parcels of habitat between 2.4 acres and 48 acres in size. (USFWS 1998a)

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

None known.

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

This species is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Capitol Reef National Park.

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

It is difficult to monitor the species' populations because individuals are widely scattered throughout the landscape. Determine the taxonomic relationship between P. winkleri and D. despainii. (USFWS 1998)

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

Develop a propagation protocol.


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Taxon Pediocactus winkleri
Authority Heil
Family Cactaceae
CPC Number 3138
ITIS 19777
Common Names Winkler's pincushion-cactus | Winkler cactus
Associated Scientific Names Pediocactus winkleri | Pediocactus bradyi ssp. winkleri | Pediocactus simpsonii var. winkleri | Pediocactella bradyi subsp. winkleri | Pediocactus bradyi var. winkleri
Distribution Endemic to a small region in Emery and Wayne counties in Utah. (State of Utah Natural Resources 2002)
State Rank
State State Rank
Utah S2

This species grows in fine textured, mildly alkaline soils derived from siltstone and shale substrates of the Dakota formation, Brushy Basin member of the Morrison formation, and Emery sandstone of the Mancos formation. It occurs on benches, hill tops and gentle slopes, usually with southern exposure. Usually occurs in Atriplex (saltbush) dominated desert shrub communities. (USFWS 1998)

Ecological Relationships

None known.

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Sweat bees Halictid bees Suspected Pollinator Floral Link

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