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Glandulicactus wrightii
(Syn: Glandulicactus uncinatus)



Glandulicactus wrightii SB840 Cuatrocienagas
Tiny blue-grey stems. Hooked coloured spines.
Frost hardy to temperatures as low as  -12° C.

Etymology: The variety epithet honours the early plant collector Charles Wright (See also: Mammillaria wrightii)

Description: Medium sized solitary cactus with very long central hooked spines .
Stem: Globose or short columnar glaucous green or greysh green in colour, up to 15 cm tall, and not more than 8 cm in diameter.
Ribs: Protruding, 9-15 mm hight, 6-10 mm wide, deeply notched and thus almos divide in tubercles,
Spines: New spines in young areoles are pink to reddish, later straw coloured to pale gray.
Radial spines: 8-10 , abaxial 3 hooked , nearly as thick as central spines 15-45 mm long.
Central spines: Hooked, 5-12 cm long.
Root: Tap root.
Flowers: Relatively small, Approx. 2-4 cm. long, 2-3 cm in diameter. Very distinctive brick-red to purplish or brownish purple, usually dark or dull. (Much the colour of Mammillaria pottsii flowers). Several flowers usually develop together at the stem apex.
Blooming season: Spring (March-May), the flowers remain open for up to twelve days.
Fruits: Roundish, bright red, with numerose conspicuous white fringed scales, pulp mealy. Fruiting May-June. it is common to see several fruit developing simultaneously at the stem apex.
Remarks: The northern species Glandulicactus uncinatus var. wrightii has characteristic red fruits while the similiar and often confused Glandulicactus uncinatus var. uncinatus has green fruits and is endemic in and around San Luis Potosí, Mexico south of var. wrightii; perhaps it is more similar to G. mathssonii from even farther south (Guanajuato).


A drop of nectar from from the areolar gland.

New spines are bright red

Spines are very long and hooked.

Spine cluster

Glandulicactus wrightii SB840 Cuatrocienegas

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Glandulicactus wrightii (Engelmann) D. Ferguson 

Origin Widespread and relatively common over a large area ranging from South-western US (Texas, New Mexico), to Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sonora, Zacatecas).

Habitat: Chihuahuan desert scrub, semi-desert grasslands, limestone outcrops, sometimes igneous 500-2000 m often growing within tuft of grass, this suggest that grasses are the most important nurse plants for this cactus..

Conservation status:  Listed in CITES appendix I This plan is listed in CITES app I and treated as endangered but it is not rare with a wide distribution in the U.S. (south-eastern New Mexico and scattered throughout Trans-Pecos Texas)

Common Names include: Wright's Fishhook Cactus, Cat-claw cactus, Turk's head, brown flowered hedgehog, mountain fishhook cactus, eagle-claw cactus.


  • Glandulicactus uncinatus var. wrightii (Engelmann) Backeberg,
    In: Cactaceae. 5: 2925. 1961
  • Sclerocactus uncinatus var. wrightii (Engelm.) N.P. Taylor
  • Echinocactus wrightii J. M. Coul.
  • Sclerocactus uncinatus subsp. wrightii (Engelm.) N. P. Taylor
    In: Cactaceae Consensis Init. 5:13. 1998
  • Sclerocactus uncinatus var. wrightii
  • Echinocactus uncinatus var. wrightii Engelmann
    In: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 3: 272. 1856
  • Ancistrocactus uncinatus var. wrightii (Engelmann) L. D. Benson
  • Echinomastus unicinatus var. wrightii (Engelmann) F. M. Knuth
  • Thelocactus uncinatus var. wrightii,
  • Pediocactus uncinatus var. wrightii,
  • Hamatocactus wrightii,
  • Hamatocactus uncinatus var. wrightii,
  • Ferocactus uncinatus var. wrightii,
  • Echinomastus uncinatus var. wrightii

A drop of nectar from from the areolar glands on the tubercles groove.



G. wrightii SB338 Otero County, New Mexico, USA

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.
: 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