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Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Cactus Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)

General: Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii), also called Mojave Pineapple Cactus, is large for a fishhook cactus, usually growing to about the size and shape of a pineapple with long, red spines.

This species usually blends into the background and goes unnoticed, but in evening light on rocky hillsides, the red spines can catch the sunlight and light up as if the hillside were covered with bright, shiny red balls.

Johnson's Fishhook Cactus generally is an uncommon component of vegetation communities on well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on bajadas and moderate slopes into the lower mountains in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone. Although it is uncommon, it can be locally abundant.

Family: Cactus (Cactaceae)

Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus in typical habitat.

Other Names: Mojave Pineapple Cactus, pineapple cactus, devil-claw, Echinocactus johnsonii, Sclerocactus johnsonii.

Plant Form: Usually one upright stem with many long, dense spines (somewhat resembling a pineapple). This species can have multiple stems and multiple heads.

Height: To about 10 inches.

Trunk: None.

Stems: Single, cylindrical stem; 2 to 4-inches in diameter.

Stem Surface: Ribs (17 to 21) with distinct tubercles.

Spines: Central: 4-8. Radial: 9-10. Yellowish to reddish. Spines long and stout.

Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus flower

Glochids: Absent.

Flowers: Blooms in late spring and early summer. Flower greenish yellow, pink, or magenta; 2 to 3-inches in diameter.

Fruits: 1/4 to 1/2-inch long, 1/10 to 2/10-inch in diameter.

Seeds: Many, small, black.

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on bajadas and moderate slopes in the lower mountains.

Distribution: California to southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona.

Elevation: 1,500 to 4,000 feet.

Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus typical form
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Sprout about 1-inch tall
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Locally abundant population
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus -- side view
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus -- top view
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Typical form, but growing in sandy soil
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Four-stemmed Johnson's Fishhook Cactus in habitat.
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus with many heads
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Flower buds at the top of the stem
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus with a flower
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus with a flower
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus with a flower
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Flower and buds
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
dried fruit still attached to the tip of the stem
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Dried fruit and black seeds
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Dried fruit
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii) Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus with spent flowers
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus with spent flowers
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus with spent flowers
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii) Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii) Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)
Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii) Johnson's Fishhook Cactus (Echinomastus johnsonii)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 170702

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