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Floristic Inventory of the Florida Keys Database Online

Acanthocereus tetragonus (L.) Hummelinck
Barbwire cactus, Dildoe cactus

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida

Family: Cactaceae

Group: Dicot

Substrate: Terrestrial

Habit: Shrub

Perennation: Perennial

Native Range: Southeastern United States (peninsular Florida, the Gulf Coast of Texas), the West Indies (Lesser Antilles), Mexico, Central America and South America; reported from Cuba (Griseb.) and naturalized in the Virgin Islands.

State of Florida Status: Threatened

IRC SOUTH FLORIDA Status: Rare

Map of South Florida Locations

SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence: Present

SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status: Native

SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status: Cultivated

Comments: Visit our Natives For Your Neighborhood website for more information and images.

Synonyms: A. floridanus, A. pentagonus.

FLORIDA KEYS Occurrence: Present

FLORIDA KEYS Native Status: Native

IRC FLORIDA KEYS Status: Rare

Map of Florida Keys Locations

Florida Keys History and Distribution: Reported in 1913 by John Kunkel Small for hammocks in the upper Keys. First reported for the lower sandy Keys by John H. Davis in 1942. We consider this native and extant throughout the Florida Keys.

Other data on Acanthocereus tetragonus available from :


Acanthocereus tetragonus has been reported from the following 18 conservation areas in the FLORIDA KEYS :
Occurrence Native Status
Attwood Addition, Indian Key Historic State Park Present Native
Bahia Honda State Park Reported
Biscayne National Park, Florida Keys Section Present Native
Blue Heron Hammock, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
Curry Hammock State Park Present Native
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammocks Botanical State Park Present Native
Dove Creek Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Present Native
Key West National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
Lake San Pedro Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park Present Native
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, Klopp Tract Present Native
Long Key State Park Present Native
National Key Deer Refuge Present Native
Snake Creek Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park Present Native




Acanthocereus tetragonus has been reported for the following 3 habitats in THE FLORIDA KEYS :
Coastal Berm
Coastal Rock Barren
Rockland Hammock


All Images:

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
Seedlings in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo,
Florida. Often confused with seedlings of Harrisia simpsonii.

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, northern Colombia

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, northern Colombia

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Acanthocereus tetragonus
Copyright by: Shirley Denton