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?
When desperate, golden eagles can take down animals as large as bighorn sheep or mule deer. Golden eagles can be seen in and around Colorado National Monument. More...