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Fickeisen Pincushion Cactus
Scientific Name: Pediocactus peeblesianus ssp. fickeisenii (Hochstätter) J. Lüthy
Synonym: Toumeya fickeisenii, Navajoa fickeisenii, Navajoa peeblesiana var. fickeisenii, Pediocactus peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae, Neonavajoa peeblesiana ssp. fickeisenii
Family: Cactaceae
Listed in CITES Appendix 1
Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Sun Exposure: Light shade

Origin: USA (northern Arizona)

Growth Habits:

Watering Needs: Regular water in late winter, early spring, and also in the fall, when it starts growing, very little water the rest of the time.


Cactus; solitary or clustered, globose to 6.0 cm (2.4 in.) tall and to 5.5 cm (2.2 in.) in diameter; tubercles 3.0-7.0 mm (0.12-0.28 in.) long, 4.0-6.0 mm (0.16-0.24 in.) broad. Areoles circular; spines spongy, not obscuring the stem; central spine, 0.5-1.8 cm (0.2-0.72 in.) long, mostly 1.0 mm (0.04 in.) wide at the base, white to pale gray, ascending; radial spines 3 to 7, 2.0-9.0 mm (0.08-0.36 in.) long, white to pale gray, recurving. Flowers to 2.5 cm (1.0 in.) in diameter; petaloid perianth parts cream, yellow or yellowish-green; outer perianth parts with pink or green midstripe; stamens yellow; stigma yellow. Fruit top-shaped, green turning reddish-brown as it dries; dehiscent by a vertical slit along the ovary wall; seeds dark brown to black.

AIDS TO IDENTIFICATION: P. peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae has corky/spongy spines and a central spine which P.p. var. peeblesianus lacks. Var. fickeiseniae also has 3-7 radial spines while var. peeblesianus has 4-5. Var. fickeiseniaeis larger in size than var. peeblesianus.

TOTAL RANGE: Northern Arizona, Coconino and Mohave counties. Widely scattered populations from House Rock Valley and the area of Gray Mountain along canyon rims of the Little Colorado and Colorado rivers, Coconino County. In Mohave County, it is found in Hurricane Valley and Main Street Valley, and near Clayhole Ridge and Sunshine Ridge.

GROWTH FORM: Globose Succulent Perennial
PHENOLOGY:Flowers late April; fruits May-June.
BIOLOGY:This small cactus retracts into the soil during periods of drought. There are often four to five fruits per plant. The fruits are turgid; when dry the cap breaks off and the capsule splits on the side. Each local population is rather small. Predation by rodents is especially severe in drought periods.
HABITAT:Flatter ridge-tops and benches with slight to moderate slope in gravelly limestone/gravelly loam soils.
ELEVATION:3,985 - 5,940 ft. (1,215 - 1,812 m)
EXPOSURE:All SUBSTRATE:Gravelly limestone/gravelly loam derived from Kaibab limestone.
PLANT COMMUNITY:Great Basin Desertscrub; Great Basin Grassland; Plains Grassland. Associated species include Artemisia tridentata, Atriplex canescens, Bouteloua gracilis, Bouteloua eriopodoa, Coryphanthaviviparavar. rosea, Hilaria jamesii, and Gutierrezia sarothrae(Hughes 1996).
POPULATION TRENDS:Since 1986, five populations have been monitored as plots or transects. Four are on the are located on the Arizona Strip and are being monitored by the Arizona Strip District of the Bureau of Land Management. These are the North Canyon, Dutchman (Mainstreet Valley), Clayhole, and Sunshine populations. Hughes (1996) stated that, at these monitoring sites, populations show stability with years of increase and decrease. In 1989, the monitoring plot at South Canyon had not shown much recruitment, though the preceding years had poor precipitation (B. Phillips--North Kaibab Plant Workshop, June 1992). The North Canyon monitoring plot (BLM) has been heavily vandalized in the past.

FACTORS:Threats include: collection, trampling by livestock and buffalo (especially in wet soils), off-highway vehicles, insect and rodent predation, road construction and maintenance, and Uranium exploration.
CONSERVATION MEASURES TAKEN:Protected from collection under Arizona Native Plant Law. BLM Arizona Strip District established 6 monitoring plots (Dutchman, Toquer Tank, Clayhole, Sunshine, Soap Creek, and North Canyon). The USFWS funded monitoring plot at South Canyon has not been funded since 1989. SUGGESTED PROJECTS:Studies to determine distribution, habitat and ecological factors. Surveys on the Kaibab National Forest, especially in the vicinity of South Canyon, House Rock Valley.

Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department. 1999.

Cultural Practices:
Use a soil with little organic material.

Blooming Habits:

Fruiting Habits:

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