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Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Cactus Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)

General: Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) is a small, round cactus that grows to about 5-inches tall by 5-inches wide (usually 3 by 2 or smaller). The stem does not have the ribs (flutes) seen in some other cactus. The stem is densely covered with relatively long, stout, straight white spines with red tips (none are fish-hook shaped), and all of the spines are pressed closely against the stem. Spinystars tend to grow in small groups, so if you find one, look around for more.

Spinystars are small and inconspicuous, but interesting members of desert vegetation communities in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zone.

Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)

This species is difficult to find because they are small and occur infrequently, but look for them on rocky limestone outcrops and along limestone ridges.

Family: Cactus (Cactaceae).

Other Names: Coryphantha vivipara var. rosea

Plant Form: Short, usually solitary, rounded stem that emerges from the ground. Unbranched.

Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)

Height: Usually 3 to 4-inches tall (to 7-inches tall and 5-inches in diameter).

Trunk: None.

Leaves: None (reduced to spines).

Spines: Central spines 10-12, white with red tip; radial spines 12-18, straight, white.

Flowers: Blooms in early summer. Inflorescence: solitary flowers at the top of the stem. Flowers purple to magenta, about 2-inchs in diameter.

Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)

Seeds: Small (2 mm), brown.

Habitat: Limestone soils in the Pinyon-Juniper Woodland.

Distribution: Southeast California, southern Nevada, and northwest Arizona. This subspecies occurs on the Desert National Wildlife Range and in Basin and Range National Monument.

Elevation: 5,000 to 9,000 ft.

Comments:

Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar in Basin and Range National Monument
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Pair of Spinystars in Basin and Range National Monument
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)
Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea) Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara var. rosea)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
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