Black Lace Cactus

Endangered Plant

Background

The outer spines of the black lace cactus are straight and white with dark purple tips. The spines look like the teeth in a comb. Its stems are 1 - 6 inches tall and 1 - 2 inches wide. In the springtime, the black lace cactus produces pink to purple flowers, 2 - 3 inches wide. Bees and wasps help the black lace cactus reproduce by spreading pollen from plant to plant. It blooms from April to June, producing fruits after the blooms fall off. As the small, spiny, green fruits ripen, the seeds fall or are washed to the ground by the rain.

Conservation Efforts

The San Antonio Botanical Garden maintains plants in cold frame and in test plot. They have been plagued by scale insects. At the time when the recovery plan for this species was written, private landowners where the species was found were being contacted by The Nature Conservancy and urged to protect the plants on their property. One family had already joined the Conservancy's Land Steward Society, indicating their voluntary willingness to protect the beautiful rare cacti on their land.