Lloyd's Mariposa Cactus (Sclerocactus mariposensis)

Photograph of the Lloyd's Mariposa Cactus


Other Names
Mariposa Cactus, Golfball Cactus, Lloyd's Fishhook Cactus, Silver Column Cactus, Mariposa Viszagita, Mariposa Lloyd's Cactus, Lloyd's Mariposa
Texas Status
U.S. Status
Threatened, Listed 11/06/1979
This is a small, rounded cactus with single stems up to 4 inches tall.
Life History
As with most cacti, this species has been over collected. Large tracts of land in the vicinity of the Mariposa Mine have been wiped clean of all cacti except pricklypears, dog cholla, and tasajillo, by the hired hands of cactus collector entrepreneurs. These "business people" have the cacti dumped in large piles to be sorted later for sale. Many of the cacti die while in the pile, or during shipment. Many others die due to improper care by well-meaning individuals who are ignorant of the special requirements of cacti.
Lloyd's mariposa cactus thrives in creosote-lechuguilla shrublands on rocky, gravelly soils (mostly derived from the largely limestone Boquillas Formation) on arid slopes and flats in the Chihuahuan Desert.
This species is found in Brewster County in Texas, and the state of Coahuila in Mexico. In Texas, it is known from about 30 sites, many within Big Bend National Park and Black Gap Wildlife Management Area.
Although the common name of this species is the Spanish word for butterfly, the cactus is actually named after the locality where it was first discovered, the Mariposa Mine in southern Brewster County.

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