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    Author(s): M. Terry; D. Price; J. Poole
    Date: 2007
    Source: In: Barlow-Irick, P.; Anderson, J.; McDonald, C., tech eds. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the Fourth Conference; March 22-26, 2004; Las Cruces, New Mexico. Proceedings. RMRS-P-48CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 115-121
    Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.8 MB)

    Description

    Astrophytum asterias, commonly called star cactus, is a federally listed endangered cactus endemic to the Tamaulipan thornscrub ecoregion of extreme southern Texas, USA, and Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Only three metapopulations totaling less than 4000 plants are presently known in Texas. Star cactus, known locally as “star peyote”, is highly sought by collectors. This small, dome-shaped, spineless, eightribbed cactus is sometimes mistaken for peyote (Lophophora williamsii), which grows in the same or adjacent habitats. Peyote is harvested from native thornscrub habitats in Texas by local Hispanic people and sold to peyoteros, licensed distributors who sell the peyote to Native American Church members. Annual peyote harvests in Texas approach 2,000,000 “buttons” (crowns). Although the peyoteros do not buy star cactus from harvesters, they cultivate star cactus in peyote gardens at their places of business and give star cacti to their customers as lagniappe. If even 0.1% of harvested “peyote” is actually star cactus, the annual take of this endangered cactus approaches the total number of wild specimens known in the U.S. This real but unquantifiable take, together with information from interviews with local residents, suggests the existence of many more star cactus populations than have been documented.

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    Citation

    Terry, M.; Price, D.; Poole, J. 2007. A tale of two cacti-the complex relationship between peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and endangered star cactus (Astrophytum asterias). In: Barlow-Irick, P.; Anderson, J.; McDonald, C., tech eds. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the Fourth Conference; March 22-26, 2004; Las Cruces, New Mexico. Proceedings. RMRS-P-48CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 115-121

    Keywords

    plant conservation, peyote, Lophophora williamsii, star cactus, Astrophytum asterias

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/29598