Etymology - From the Greek words ancistron, meaning fishhook and kaktos, meaning thistle.
The genus Ancistrocactus is listed by default on CactiGuide.com under Sclerocactus. However, some species that have been lumped into Sclerocactus have been done so with no corresponding name to distinguish it from other species previously included in Ancistrocactus. The species listed here as A. megarhizus is distinguished by Britton and Rose in "The Cactaceae", but is included under S. scheeri by later authors.
Original Description:The Cactaceae 4
p.4 - Britton & Rose (1920)
Solitary or in clusters of 3 or 4; plant body nearly globular or a little elongated, 5 to 8 cm high, usually solitary, from large and fleshy roots; ribs spiral, divided into dark-green tubercles, 4 to 5 cm high; radial spines 20 or more, pectinate, at first pale yellow, in age white; in seedlings the spines pubescent; central spines usually 4, the 3 upper similar to the radials, although a little stouter and in young areoles not easily distinguished from them, the lower central spines stout and strongly hooked, 15 mm long; flowers not seen; fruit green, suggesting that of a Coryphantha, clavate, bearing a few naked scales near top; seed black, smooth, shining.
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