beautiful species with stout stems and very broad formidable spines
This is a mat forming cactus that grows approximately 20-50 cm high
and up to 2 m across (or more) with stout stems and very broad
Stems: Jointed, deep green ascending or spreading.
Segments obovoid to
club-shaped, up to 12 cm long. Strongly tuberculate.
Tubercles: Large, flattened laterally, 3-4 cm long.
Areoles: Large up
to 1,5 cm in diameter with white wool.
white up to 4 mm long.
Leaves: Linear, slightly curved, reddish and
ephemeral, 8-14 mm
Spines: Thick, sharp-pointed,
straight and strongly flattened, that look like little daggers, 1- 5 cm
long, and are at first reddish or purple with bright carmine-red base,
turning grayish-white and finally black.
Radial spines: 6 10
Central spines: 10-12
much stouter than the radials.
Flowers: Yellow up to 5
cm in diameter, with a magnificent form. Tepals ovate-acuminate. Ovary
almost hidden by numerous reddish acicular spines.
Blooming season: April to May.
Seeds: Yellowish, 2 mm
Younger spines are bright carmine red.
The buds are very spiny too!
In: Proc. Calif. Acad. II 2:163. 1889
Vizcaíno Desert Region to just north
of the Cape Region. Central Baja California, Mexico.
Grows in silty, sandy, or gravelly
soil at low elevation near the coast. In some part of its range
O. invicta grows among
Echinocereus hancockii this
species look remarkably like one to each other. The adaptive value of
convergence (if any) is unknown.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Common English Names include:
Dagger Cholla, Devil Cholla,
Club Cholla, Casa Rata. It is also know as "Horse Crippler" and "Rat
House." The name rat house has been given because it provides protection
to various rodents who build their burrows under this plant.
refers to a Greek name used by Pliny for a diverse plant which grew in
the region of the town of Opus in Greece.
The specific name
- Grusonia invicta
(T. Brandegee) E. F. Anderson 1999
invicta (T. Brandegee) F. M.
This species strongly resemble in habit with some Echinocereus (i.e.
E. brandegei -
E. hancockii) and do not suggest in the remotest degree any
of the other Opuntia.
This plant from Baja California needs
warmer winter temperatures,
and can resist only occasional light frost, above -2 C.
It is very sensitive to over-watering (rot prone)
and needs good drainage.
with a half-strength liquid fertilizer in summer. Irrigate regularly during the
growing season, keep absolutely dry in winter.
Needs full sun.
Drought-tolerant; suitable for
xeriscaping, little or no water once established.
Propagation: Seeds or herbaceous
to callus over before planting).