• View from the Canyon Rim Trail. Photo by Jeff Kochevar


    National Monument Colorado

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  • Visitor Center is OPEN 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily

    Alcove Nature Trail CLOSED for reconstruction until further notice.

Fish-hook Cactus

Fish-hook Cactus

Fish-Hook Cactus (Sclerocactus parviflorus)

Other Names: smallflower fish-hook cactus, eagleclaw cactus, devil claw cactus

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Description: single stems are 4 inches thick and up to 10 inches tall. Stems have 13-15 spiral ribs with spines clustered in areoles, each of which contains 4 central spines and 7-11 radial spines. Pink or purple flowers are produced throughout April and May.

Range: occurs throughout Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Look for it growing in Colorado National Monument's eastern regions, especially at lower elevations on metamorphic rock.

Did you know: the fish-hook cactus's scientific name, Sclerocactus ("hard cactus" in Greek), refers to this cactus's hard, dry fruit. At maturity, the reddish fruit of the fish-hook cactus splits irregularly, releasing small dark brown or black seeds.

Did You Know?

John Otto on a trail with his horse and burro

John Otto's efforts almost a century ago continue to help visitors experience Colorado National Monument. Of the 40 miles of trails available to hikers in the monument, many of them were first built by original park custodian John Otto. More...