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Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)
Cactus Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
 
Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)

General: Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis), also called Mojave Claret Cup, is mound-shaped plant formed of many, densely packed stems to about 1-foot tall and densely covered with gray, twisted and interlocking spines. The spines are round rather than angled spines.

Mojave Kingcup Cactus is a fairly common component of vegetation communities on well-drained gravelly and rocky soils on upper bajadas and slopes into the mountains in the Upper Sonoran (Pinyon-Juniper Woodland), Transition (Yellow Pine Forest), and Canadian (Pine-Fir Forest) life zones.

Around Las Vegas, Kingcup Cactus can be found most easily in the Pinyon-Juniper woodlands on Mt. Charleston and in the Mojave National Preserve.

Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)

Family: Cactus (Cactaceae).

Other Names: Claret Cup Cactus, Echinocereus triglochidiatus.

Plant Form: Mound-shaped plant formed of many, densely packed stems.

Height: Usually to about 1-foot tall, to 16 inches.

Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)

Trunk: None.

Stems: Entire, cylindrical; mound composed of up to about 500 individual stems, each usually less than about 2 inches diameter, bluish green.

Stem Surface: Ribbed, about 10 ribs per stem.

Spines: Gray, round, to about 2-inches long, curved (almost wavy) and twisting, often interlocking with those of neighboring stems to form a dense web of spines covering the mound. Central and radial spines difficult to distinguish.

Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)
Mojave Kingcup Cactus on Mt. Charleston.

Glochids: Absent.

Flowers: Blooms during spring (early for cactus). Inflorescence: Solitary flowers emerge from near the tip of individual stems. Flowers: funnel-shaped; orange to red, to about 3-1/2-inches diameter.

Fruit: Cylindrical, about 1-inch long, 1/2-inch diameter. Reddish when ripe, spines deciduous.

Seeds:

Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)
Very large mound.

Habitat: Dry, well-drained gravelly and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes into the mountains.

Distribution: Southern California to Colorado, and south through Texas into Mexico.

Elevation: About 5,000 feet to 10,000 feet.

Comments:

Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis) The growth form of this Mojave Kingcup Cactus shows many individual stems.
Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)
Mojave Kingcup Cactus flowers
Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)
Mojave Kingcup Cactus flowers
Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)
Mound-shaped plant with spines
Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis)
Curved, interlocking spines on a Mojave Kingcup Cactus
Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis) more to come ...

 
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
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© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 100616

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