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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Simpson's Hedgehog Cactus - Pediocactus simpsonii

Native Species

Global Rank: G5?
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Though rare to uncommon in Montana, where it is known from scattered locations within arid habitats in the southwest portion of the state, its long-term viability does not appear to be at risk. Additional data on population levels and trends should be collected to corroborate its status.
General Description
Stems unsegmented, solitary or clumped, 7–12 cm high, buried in the soil, globose with spirally arranged tubercles. Spines 20 to 40 per areole; the central 3 to 10, straight, yellow to reddish, 6–12 mm long; marginal spines smaller, whitish. Flowers 10–15 mm long, borne near tip of tubercles; tepals yellow-green to magenta, the outer with greenish midstripe. Fruits narrow-globose, 6–8 mm long, green-tinged with red. Our plants are var. simpsonii (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety simpsonii.

Range Comments
Lower montane in Beaverhead County; ID, MT south to NV, AZ and NM (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 50

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Fine-textured, often stony soil of steppe, grasslands; valleys (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Simpson's Hedgehog Cactus"
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Citation for data on this website:
Simpson's Hedgehog Cactus — Pediocactus simpsonii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from