CPC Plant Profile: Wright's Fishhook Cactus
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Plant Profile

Wright's Fishhook Cactus (Sclerocactus wrightiae)

This shot shows the VERY large barrel cactus and flowers. This plant is unusual in that there are buds growing on its sides. Photo Credit: Vincent Tepedino
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • State: UT
  • Nature Serve ID: 144121
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/2021

Wright's fishhook cactus was listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1979. (USFWS 1979) A small cactus with short spines. The lovely yellowish to pink flowers can be seen in late April to early June. This cactus grows in south-central Utah in salt desert shrub/grass and pinyon juniper communities between 1460 and 1865 meters.

Participating Institutions
  • 09/28/2020
  • Seed Collection

Seeds have been germinated in the greenhouse, but plants did not survive. Protocol must be developed.

  • 09/28/2020
  • Propagation Research

Seeds have been germinated in the greenhouse, but plants did not survive. Protocol must be developed.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from numerous locations in four Utah counties but the number of individuals at each location is usually low. Declines are reported at many sites. Threatened by mineral exploration, off-road vehicle traffic, and illegal collection.

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

Infestation by cactus-borer beetle larvae Oil, coal and gas exploration Livestock trampling Off-road vehicle use Road construction and maintenance

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

Clark and Groebner report on 1,365 individuals. (2000)

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

None known.

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

Most of the populations occur on BLM land.

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

Continued monitoring of populations, studies of their ecology, ex situ propagation protocols and re-introduction feasibility studies.

Sylvia Torti
  • 01/01/2010

Seeds have been germinated in the greenhouse, but plants did not survive. Protocol must be developed.


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Taxon Sclerocactus wrightiae
Authority L. Benson
Family Cactaceae
CPC Number 3891
ITIS 19766
Common Names Wright fishhook cactus
Associated Scientific Names Sclerocactus wrightiae | Pediocactus wrightiae | Ferocactus wrightiae
Distribution This species is known only from Wayne County, southwestern Emery County and southeastern Sevier County in Utah. (State of Utah Natural Resources 2002)
State Rank
State State Rank
Utah S2

Plants are restricted to fine textured soils derived from Ferron Sandstone, Mancos Shale, Morrison, Summerville, Curtis, Entrada and Carmel Formations. Salt desert shrub/grass and pinyon juniper communities.

Ecological Relationships


Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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