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Mojave mound cactus, Echinocereus mojavensis | by Jim Morefield
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Mojave mound cactus, Echinocereus mojavensis

Mojave mound cactus, Echinocereus mojavensis, California, White Mountains, Deep Springs Valley drainage, elevation 2004 m (6575 ft).

 

One of my favorite cactus species, this camera magnet occupies a wide elevation range from near sea level up to 3000 meters (10,000 feet) across the Mojave Desert, southern Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau of the western United States. It has a preference for calcareous rock outcrops, but is also found on granite outcrops and sometimes on rocky alluvium.

 

Sometimes considered a minor variant of claretcup cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus) of eastern Arizona and New Mexico, Mojave mound cactus is said to differ by having rougher, rounder spines (versus smoother and more angular), and averaging more spines per areole.

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Taken on May 2, 2017