Born in the U.S.A.: Barbed-wire cactus, Acanthocereus tetragonus
|Figure 1. Upright growth habit of A. tetragonus,|
with closed flower. Photo credit: Alan Boatman.
By Daneisha Hawkins
This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Plant Taxonomy students at Jacksonville University.
Specific epithet: tetragonus
|Figure 2. Night-blooming A. tetragonus shows|
its white tepals with yellow stamens.
Photo credit: Bob Upcavage.
Barbed-wire cactus, or Acanthocereus tetragonus, is typically found along the coast from St. Lucie County southward to Lee County, including the Keys. Interestingly, the plant is not vouchered in Broward County. Of the 12 native cactus species in Florida, only two are listed as threatened - A. tetragonus is one of them. This plant is found growing in sandy, coastal hammocks.
|Figure 3. Shiny berry of the barbed-wire cactus.|
Photo credit: Shirley Denton.
Where can you see one in the wild? Visit Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
- Hathcock, Chris. "Barbed Wire Cactus." NPP Home. 15 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. http://nativeplantproject.com/cgcv/barbed_wire_cactus.htm.
- "Native Plant Database." Acanthocereus Tetragonus (Triangle Cactus). 6 July 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2012. http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ACTE4.
- Wunderlin, R. P., and B. F. Hansen. 2008. Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/).[S. M. Landry and K. N. Campbell (application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research.] Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa.
Figure 1. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Photo.aspx?id=13328
Figure 2. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Photo.aspx?id=5732
Figure 3. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Photo.aspx?id=5730