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Glandulicactus mathssoni
(Syn: Glandulicactus uncinatus)



Glandulicactus mathssoni SB1449 San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato, Mexico

Description: Plants typically solitary with atractive hooked central spines, occasianally branched from the base. The flowers are a unique coppery colour.
Stem: Flattened globular to egg-shaped, green to bluish-green with a grey glaucescence. Up to 15 cm tall and 8 cm wide.
Ribs: 9-13, prominent and strongly tubercles, approx 6-9 mm broad and 9-15 mm tall.
Areoles: Approx 2-2,5 mm apart, roundish 3-5 mm in diameter with greyish-yellowish wool, and with several yellowish glands in the short woolly groove in the upper part of the tubercle (hence the genus name Glandulicactus).
Roots: Diffuse.
Spines: Strong, tannish-white to greyish-pink or purple slightly flattened, not obscuring the stem.
Central spines: 1 (or up to 4 in adult plants) the principal central (the lower one) curving and prominently hooked 5-9 cm long, 1-1,5 mm wide.
Radial spines: 5-8 of which the 2-3 upper ones straight in quasi-central position, the three lower hooked and  reddish-tan (one strong straight lower radial may be present underneath the hooked ones), lateral and upper radials subulate, tannish-white or yellowish spreading.
Flowers: Produces several buds in spirals at the plants apex on the new growth of the current season, with usually 3-5 or more flowers in clusters opening at a time. The flowers are cylindrical to funnelform, 2-4 cm long, 2-3 cm wide. Inner petal tannish, to brick red obtuse to acute, outer tepals with brownish midribs., filaments yellow or maroon up to 6 mm long, anthers yellow, style 1,2 cm long reddish, stigma lobes 10-14 yellow or orange. Pericarpel with toothed scales up to 6 mm long.
Blooming season: March to May (some flowering episodes are possible after heavy summer rains as late as August) The flowers open stimulated by warm temperatures in the morning and close partially at night and open again for 2-3 days.
Fruits: 1,5-2,5 cm long, ovate to globose, fleshy, red, indehiscent, with few conspicuous white-fringed scales, floral remnants persistent. The fruit matures in about one month (in May-June or later) and is edible.
Seeds: Black, 1,3-1,5 mm long, 1 mm broad, 0,8 mm thick.

Buds are apical

Flowers are very showy and shinning.


winter (resting phase)

Summer (growing season)

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Glandulicactus mathssonii (Berge ex K.Schum.) D.J.Ferguson
in Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 63: 91. 1991

Nowadays regarded as: Glandulicactus uncinatus (Galeotti) Backeberg.
Pubblished in: Beitr. Sukkulentenk. Sukkulentenpflege. 1939(2): 4. 1939.

Common Name Chihuahuan Fishhook Cactus Brown-Flowered Hedgehog, Catclaw Cactus, Turk's Head Cactus, Texas Hedgehog.

Habitat: Grows in desert hills, flats, often on limestone rich substrates, among desert shrubs or in open grassland, usually growing in or near to grass clumps.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix


  • Echinocactus mathssonii Berge ex K.Schum.
    In: Gesamtbeschr. Kakt. 351 (fig.). (1897)1898
  • Ferocactus mathssonii (Berge ex K.Schum.) N.P.Taylor
    in Cact. Succ. J. Gr. Brit. 41: 91. 19791
  • Ancistrocactus mathsonii (Berge ex K.Schum.) Doweld
    in Tsukkulenty 1(2): 29. 1999
  • Glandulicactus uncinatus ssp. Mathsonii
  • Echinocactus uncinatus Galeotti
    in Abbild. Beschr. Cact. 2: t. 18. 1848
  • Ferocactus uncinatus (Galeotti) Britton & Rose
    in Cactaceae (Britton & Rose) 3: 146, fig. 153. 1922
  • Hamatocactus uncinatus (Galeotti) Orcutt
    in Cactography 6. 1926
  • Echinomastus uncinatus (Galeotti) F. M. Knuth
    in Backeb. & F. M. Knuth, Kaktus-ABC 358. 1935
  • Thelocactus uncinatus (Galeotti) W. T. Marshall
    in Cactaceae (Berlin) 169. 1941
  • Ancistrocactus uncinatus (Galeotti) L. D. Benson
    in Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 41(4): 188. 1969
  • Sclerocactus uncinatus (Galeotti) N. P. Taylor
    in Bradleya 5: 94. 1987
  • Pediocactus uncinatus (Galeotti) Halda
    in Acta Mus. Richnov., Sect. Nat. 5(1): 25. 1998






Cultivation: Somewhat sensitive to overwatering (rot prone) and slow-growing. Grow in a  mineral  cactus compost and provide good drainage. Water in moderation, it prefer a completely dry place during winter. An unheated greenhoouse would be perfect. It can survive low temperatures, approx. -7 (-12) C. They will do their best with lots of sun and become stressed with inadequate light which could result in poor growth and unnatural shape.  Provide very good ventilation.

Propagation: Seed.



Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Glandulicactus uncimnatus  complex
(This Taxon has many synonyms whit several controversial varieties and subspecies and comprises a multitude of different forms, but where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics):





Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.



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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti