Ferocactus gracilis H E Gates 1933

BIZNAGA C0L0RADA, FIRE BARREL CACTUS Ferocactus coloratus H. E. Gates 1933, F. gracilis var. coloratus (H. E. Gates) G. E. Lindsay 1955, F. gracilis subsp. coloratus (H. E. Gates) N.P Taylor 1998

Ferocactus viscainensis H. E. Gates 1933, F. peninsulae var. viscainen-

sis (H. E. Gates) G. E. Lindsay 1955 Ferocactus gatesil G. E. Lindsay 1955, F. gracilis svbsp.gatesii (G.E.Lindsay) N.P. Taylor 1998

Plants solitary, globose to cylindrical, deep green, to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) high and 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. Ribs 16-24, slightly tuberculate. Spines in two series. Central spines 7-13, red with yellow tips, the largest to 7 cm (2.8 in), banded, the main 4 forming a cross, upper and lower ones flattened. Radial spines 8-12, white, to 6 cm (2.4 in) long, sometimes twisted, upper and lower ones stout. Flowers funnelform, red, to 4 cm (1.6 in) long and 3.5 cm (1.4 in) in diameter. Fruits oblong, yellow, about 2.5 cm (1 in) long, not dehiscing by basal pores. Distribution: Baja California, Mexico.

Three subspecies of Ferocactus gracilis are recognized. Subspecies gracilis often exceeds 1 m (3.3 ft) in height and has central spines less than 5 mm wide; it occurs in northern central Baja California. Subspecies coloratus rarely reaches 1 m (3.3 ft) in height but the widest central spines often exceed 5 mm; it occurs in an area to the south of and slightly overlapping that of subspecies gracilis. Subspecies gatesii may reach 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in height, and the central spines are curved but not hooked and only 3 mm wide; it occurs only on the islets and islands in the mouth of Bahia de Los Angeles.

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