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Floristic Inventory of the Florida Keys Database Online

Pilosocereus polygonus (Lam.) Byles & Rowley
Key tree cactus

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer
in habitat, Florida Keys

Family: Cactaceae

Group: Dicot

Substrate: Terrestrial

Habit: Shrub

Perennation: Perennial

Native Range: South Florida and the West Indies (Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola).

NatureServe Global Status: Critically Imperiled

United States Federal Status: Endangered

State of Florida Status: Endangered

Florida Natural Areas Inventory State Status: Critically Imperiled

IRC SOUTH FLORIDA Status: Critically Imperiled

Map of South Florida Locations

SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence: Present

SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status: Native

SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status: Cultivated

Comments: For a current review of P. robinii (now treated by most authors as a synonym of P. polygonus), see the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Species Profile. See also our Natives For Your Neighborhood website. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Synonyms: P. bahamensis, P. robinii, Cephalocereus keyensis.

FLORIDA KEYS Occurrence: Present

FLORIDA KEYS Native Status: Native

IRC FLORIDA KEYS Status: Critically Imperiled

Map of Florida Keys Locations

Florida Keys History and Distribution: First collected in 1834 or 1835 by Reverend Alva Bennett on the island of Key West.  Reported in 1913 by John Kunkel Small for hammocks on the island of Key West.  We consider this native and extant from the upper Keys to the lower Keys.  For more information on this in the Florida Keys, see IRC's species account.

Other data on Pilosocereus polygonus available from :


Pilosocereus polygonus has been reported from the following 4 conservation areas in the FLORIDA KEYS :
Occurrence Native Status
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge Present Native, Cultivated Only
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Present Native
Long Key State Park Present Native
National Key Deer Refuge Present Native




Pilosocereus polygonus has been reported for the following 2 habitats in THE FLORIDA KEYS :
Coastal Berm
Rockland Hammock


All Images:

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer
in habitat, Florida Keys

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley
in habitat, Abaco Island, Bahamas, 2006

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011, with Bromelia pinguin

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Pilosocereus polygonus
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011, with Zamia pumila