Echinocactus polycephalus

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Echinocactus polycephalus
Echinocactus polycephalus.jpeg
Echinocactus polycephalus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactaceae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Echinocactus
Species: E. polycephalus
Binomial name
Echinocactus polycephalus
Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow

Echinocactus polycephalus is a cactus that occurs in the Mojave Desert region of Arizona, California, and Nevada. It also occurs in the Sonoran Desert region of southern California and northern Sonora, Mexico.

The plants grow in some of the most extreme arid environments in the American Southwest, such as Death Valley National Park, and the Mojave National Preserve of Southern California.


The stems of Echinocactus polycephalus are sometimes solitary, but more often in clusters of as many as 30, each up to 0.6 m tall. The spines are yellow to red. The fruits are densely woolly, giving the common name "Cotton top cactus".[1] In the past, it was also called "niggerhead cactus."[2][3]

They have a reputation for being difficult in cultivation, and are rarely seen in cactus collections.


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