CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina

Photographer:
Lynda Pritchett-Kozak

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina


Family: 
Cactaceae  
Common Names: 
Pima pineapple cactus, Sheer's strong-spined cory cactus
Author: 
(Schott ex Engelm.) L. Benson
Growth Habit: 
Shrub
CPC Number: 
1087

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispinaenlarge
Photographer: Lynda Pritchett-Kozak

Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispinaenlarge
Photographer: Lynda Pritchett-Kozak


Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Kathleen C. Rice contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina


Coryphantha scheeri v. robustispina is a small globular cactus that reaches 10-18 cm in height with distinctive, straw-colored central spines (ca 2 cm long on mature plants). Plants have prominent tubercules, the tip of each having an aeroele. Young aereoles are densely covered with wool, old ones are completely smooth. Older tubercules toward the bottom of plants can differentiate to form new plants. Pale yellow flowers bloom in early July and give way to juicy, green fruits containing large brown seeds (about 2mm).

Coryphantha scheeri v. robustispina was first collected in 1856 by Schott in the Baboquivari Mountains in Sonora, Mexico. In 1856, it was published by Engelman as Mamillaria robustispina, based on the large seed size. Britton and Rose renamed it as Coryphantha robustispina in 1923, and in 1953, it was designated as a variety of Coryphantha mulenpfordtii, by Marshall. Finally, Benson (1969) split C. scheeri into 3 varieties, one of them being var. robustispina.

Plants are designated Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (1990), and are designated as Forest Service Sensitive, and Highly Safeguarded by Arizona state law.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Arizona
State Range of  Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina
Habitat
  Plants are found on alluvial hillsides in rocky, sandy soils in southeastern Arizona (Roller 1996). The habitat is primarily desert grassland at elevations ranging from 2,300 ft. to 5,000 ft (Brown and Lowe 1980, USFWS 1981, Roller 1996).

Distribution
  This species is known from southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico (USFWS 1981).

Number Left
  Approximately 21 populations are known (USFWS 1981).

Protection

Global Rank:  
G4T2
 
12/15/2005
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Arizona S2 8/1/2002  
  Mexico *FR85 8/26/1988  
  Sonora S1T1 8/26/1991  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Unknown

Threats
  Urban development is the primary threat, as the majority of C. scheeri v. robustispina. Additional impacts include road construction, agriculture, mining, off-road vehicle use, grazing, and introduction of non-native grasses (USFWS 1981, Mills 1991, Tolley 1992).

Current Research Summary
  Desert Botanical Garden salvaged approximately 75 plants and clones from a proposed site in the Green Valley housing development. Available fruits and seeds were salvaged at the same time. Since 1993, the Garden has produced approximately 300 seeds in cultivation through controlled cross-pollination.
Permanent plots have been erected to study the demographic component of this species (Schmalzel and Dix 1998).

Current Management Summary
  A formal management plan has not been designed.

Research Management Needs
  Studies into the aspects of this species' biology and ecology would be useful in conservation efforts.

Ex Situ Needs
  A germination test was conducted on field-collected seeds from the original collection, yielding a percentage of 35%. Tests were conducted in the greenhouse, with temperatures ranging from 70-100 F, using Steve Brack's 'box' method, whereby pots are placed in a plywood box covered with window screen and misted twice daily. Plants in greenhouse cultivation are repeatedly infested with spider mites, and must be grown outdoors with some protection from the west sun. Plants were translocated from the ground to pots during a construction project in May 2000. As of December 200, no casualties have been observed. The DBG has seeds and plants from five populations in southern Arizona.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Benson, L. 1969. Cacti of Arizona. Tuscon, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 218p.

Benson, L. 1982. The Cacti of the United States and Canada. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 1044p.

Kartesz, J.T. 1993. Species distribution data for vascular plants of 70 geographical areas, from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic Sources

(2000). Center for Plant Conservation's National Living Collection--Profiles. Desert Botanical Garden. http://www.dbg.org/Collections/cpc.html. Accessed: 2002.

(2002). Threatened and Endangered Species in Pima County; Priority Vulnerable Species in Pima County. The On-line Sonoran Desert Educational Center. http://www.co.pima.az.us/cmo/sdcp/sdcp2/fsheets/index.html. Accessed: 2002.

Arizona Game and Fish Department. (1999). Plant Abstracts. Compiled and edited by the Heritage Data Management System, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ. http://www.gf.state.az.us/frames/fishwild/hdms_site/Abstracts/Plants/abstracts%20-%20plants.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Halverson, B.; Roller, T. 1994. Endangered Cactus offers NBS Opportunity to Examine Species. Bajada. 2, 2: 1.

USFWS. 1992. Proposal to List the Plant Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina (Pima Pineapple Cactus) as Endangered. Federal Register. 57, 76: 14374-14378.

USFWS. 1993. Determination of endangered status for the plant pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina). Federal Register. 58, 183: 49875 - 49879.

USFWS. 2000. Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) for Pima County, Arizona. Federal Register. 65, 174: 54295-54297.

Reports

2001. Draft Report: Priority Vulnerable Species in Pima County, Arizona, as part of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. Pima County, Arizona: Board of Supervisors.

2002. General Species Information. Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Ecological Services Field Office.

Brown, D.E.; Lowe, C.H. 1980. Map, Biotic Communities of the Southwest (scale 1:1,000,000). Rocky Mt. Forest and Range Expt. Station General Tech Report RM-78. USDA Forest Service.

Fonseca, J.; Scalero, D. 1999. Determining Valuable Species within Pima County, AZ: a discussion paper for the Sonoran desert conservation plan. Tuscon, AZ: Pima County Flood Control District.

Mills, G.S. 1991. Miscellaneous notes on Coryphantha scheeri v. robustispina. Phoenix, Arizona: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Schmalzel, R.J.; Dix. 1998. Establishment of a permanent plot for the study of Pima Pineapple Cactus (Coryphantha scheeri v. robustispina) on the San Pedro-Milagro Pasture (King Anvil Ranch, southern Arizona) and a Single-Year Demographic Study of Each Population. Arizona Department of Agriculture contract NPL96-97. p.11.

Tolley, S. 1992. A Summary of the Pima Pineapple Cactus on the Buenos Aires Refuge. Sasabe, Arizona: Buenos Aires Refuge.

USFWS. 1981. Status report for Coryphantha scheeri v. robustispina. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Prepared for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Theses

Roller, Patricia Suzanne. 1996. Distribution, Growth, and Reproduction of Pima Pineapple Cactus (Coryphantha scheeri Kuntz var. robustispina Schott). [M.S. Thesis]: The University of Arizona. 83p.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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