Plant Image
Plant - summer
Pioneer Park - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Escobaria vivipara - Common beehive cactus

Synonyms: Coryphantha alversonii, Coryphantha vivipara, Mammillaria alversonii, Escobaria vivipara
Other Common Names: Bisbee spinystar, Kaibab spinystar, spinystar, Bisbee beehive cactus, Marston's foxtail cactus
Plant Form: Cacti

Family: Cactaceae

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Plant - summer
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Plant - spring
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Plant - spring
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Plant Description

Origin: Native
General Desc: A small low growing cactus having clusters of 1 to 24 stems, each with spirals of conical bumps (tubercles). Stems are round or cylindrical, un-branched and flat-topped. May become more flat-topped in winter with more than half the stem underground.
Identification notes: Height under 8 inches, tubercles (knobby projections on a stem) not in vertical rows with a groove on their upper surface and flowers borne between tubercles distinguish this cactus.
Height: 6 inches     Width:


Habitat Description: Desert scrub to conifer forests.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 700 - 8800 feet


Color: Pale rose-pink to reddish-pink or purple     Flowering Period: Apr - Aug
Description: Mostly found at apex. Tepals (sepals and petals) 21 to 56 per flower, outer tepals fringed. Flowers 6 days after summer rain. Male (anthers) flower parts are orange-yellow, female (stigmas) are white.


Stem Color: Green     Number of Stems: Multiple     Stem Shape: Cylindrical     Stems Segmented: N     Stem Surface: Bumpy
Stem Description: Cylindrical 3 to 6 inches long and 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Stems are not ribbed, but have tubercles grooved on the upper surface. Darkest when fresh, weathering to blackish.

Areoles (structures unique to cacti, found on the stems, areas from which spines, flowers and fruits emerge)

Areole Description: 3 to 14 rigid central spines that point outward, upward and downward. A circle of 10 to 40 radial spines are pressed to the stem and surround the central spines.
Spine Color: White or pinkish-gray, dark reddish-brown tips     Spines Hooked: N    
Spine Description: Spines are 1/4 to 1 inch long, rigid and needle-like. Spines overlap and obscure the stem color.


Fruit Color: Green   
Fruit Notes: Juicy pod, 1/2 to 1 inch long, remaining green but tinged with purple when ripe. The pod contains reddish-brown seeds.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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