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Mesa Verde fishhook cactus facts for kids

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(Redirected from Sclerocactus mesae-verdae)

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Mesa Verde cactus
Sclerocactus mesae-verdae fh 061 NM B.jpg
Scientific classification
S. mesae-verdae
Binomial name
Sclerocactus mesae-verdae
(Boissev. & C. Davidson) L.D. Benson
  • Coloradoa mesae-verdae Boissev. & C. Davidson
  • Echinocactus mesa-verdae (Boissev. & C. Davidson) L.D. Benson
  • Ferocactus mesa-verdae (Boissev. & C. Davidson) N.P. Taylor
  • Pediocactus mesae-verdae (Boissev. & C. Davidson) Arp

Sclerocactus mesae-verdae, the Mesa Verde fishhook cactus, is a species of cactus native to northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado. It is rare and listed as federally endangered.

It is known only from Montezuma County (Colorado) and San Juan County (New Mexico). Much of the New Mexico part of the range lies inside land controlled by the Navajo Nation. The Colorado populations lie close to Mesa Verde National Park.


Sclerocactus mesae-verdae is an unbranched columnar cactus up to 20 cm tall and 10 cm in diameter. It has 13-17 longitudinal ribs but inconspicuous tubercules. Each areole has 7-14 radial spines up to 13 mm long, plus 0-4 central spines (usually straight but occasionally hooked) up to 15 mm long.

Flowers are bell-shaped to trumpet-shaped, up to 4 cm across and 3 cm in diameter, white to yellow with purple stripes running up the center of some of the outer tepals. Fruits at maturity are tan and cylindrical, up to 10 mm long. Seeds are black.

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