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Pediocactus bradyi (Brady's hedgehog cactus)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Pediocactus bradyi

Pediocactus bradyi L.D. Benson

Brady's Hedgehog Cactus, Brady's Pincushion Cactus

Cactaceae (Cactus Family)


USDA Symbol: PEBR2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The tiny stems of Brady's pincushion cactus are at most 2 inches across, and may be single or (less often) form clusters of up to 12. Stems are spherical in shape but flattened and shrunken at some times of year, when they barely rise above the surrounding soil and are hard to spot even when close up. The very short, white or yellowish spines are (usually) all radial, numbering between 13 and 16, and angled back towards the stem surface; occasionally 1 or 2 darker-colored central spines might be present. The pale yellow flowers and green/brown fruit are also small, about one inch and half an inch in diameter respectively.

The plant grows in a 25 mile long strip of land either side of the Colorado River (Marble Canyon) in north Arizona, south of Lees Ferry. It is endangered, and monitoring studies suggest that populations are declining.

Description provided courtesy of The American Southwest.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Globular plants 1 to 2 1/2 inches tall by 1 to 2 inches wide.
Fruit: Small green/brown fruit.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr
Bloom Notes: Diurnal. White or pale yellow, with a yellow interior and green or reddish brown midstripes.


Native Distribution: Marble Canyon, north Arizona, in particular around Jackass Creek and Badger Canyon.
Native Habitat: Kaibab limestone ledges or plateaus.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Conditions Comments: Minimum temperature 50F.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Threatened & Endangered Status

USFWS Species Profile: Q1ZX
Status: Endangered
Historic Range: U.S.A. (AZ)
Critical Habitat: N/A
Special Rules: N/A
This information is derived from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serrvice Environmental Conservation Online System.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Webref 15 - The American Southwest (1994) John Crossley

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pediocactus bradyi in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pediocactus bradyi in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pediocactus bradyi


Record Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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