Endangered Species
Mountain-Prairie Region


Uinta Basin Hookless Cactus

Photo by Maria Ulloa, Burea of Land Management

The Uinta Basin hookless cactus has been protected under the Endangered Species Act (Act) since 1979 (44 FR 58868).  Until recently it was considered a part of S. glaucus (Uinta Basin hookless cactus). On September 15, 2009 (74 FR 47112), we officially recognized the taxonomic split of this species into three distinct species:  S. brevispinus (Pariette cactus), S. glaucus (Colorado hookless cactus), and S. wetlandicus (Uinta Basin hookless cactus).

Uinta Basin hookless cactus is a barrel-shaped cactus that ranges from 4 to 25 centimeters  tall (1.5 to 10 inches ).  The stems have typically 12 to 15 ribs that extend from the ground to the tip of the plant.  The funnel-shaped flowers are usually pink to violet with yellow stamens, and are 2 to 5 cm (0.8 to 2 in.) long and 2 to 5 cm (0.8 to 2 in.) in diameter (74 FR 47112). The fruit is short, barrel-shaped, reddish or reddish grey when ripe, 7 to 12 mm (0.3 to 0.5 in.) wide, and 9 to 25 mm (0.35 to 1.0 in.) long.  Uinta Basin hookless cactus is generally found on coarse soils derived from cobble and gravel river and stream terrace deposits, or rocky surfaces on mesa slopes at 1,350 to 1,900 meters (4,400 to 6,200 feet) in elevation.

At the time of the original listing of the Uinta Basin hookless cactus complex, ongoing and foreseeable threats included mineral and energy development, illegal collection, recreational off-road vehicle use, and grazing.

In April 2010, we completed a recovery outline for the species. This document lays out a preliminary course of action for the recovery of the Uinta Basin hookless cactus. It serves to guide recovery efforts and inform consultation and permitting activities.

Uinta basin hookless cactus Factsheet

More infomation can be found through the Service's ECOS webpage

Last updated: January 17, 2017