Autor: Britton & Rose
A genus honouring Alwin Berger (1871-1931), who was for several years the curator of Thomas Hanbury’s botanical
garden at La Mortola, Italy (see portrait above, ©Haage).
Monospecific genus of large bushes with slender cylindrical stems, branching near the base, very spiny, with golden
yellow aciculate spines completely covering the epidermis. Thick root system.
Flowers diurnal, self sterile, with felted and spiny floral tube, yellow with more or less reddish external tepals,
pollinated by bees. Fruits are spherical with a liquid pulp, homochromous (same colour as the stems), covered with
spines, becoming invisible with the rest of the plant, dehiscent at the apex, letting pulp and seeds escape, drying out
when ripe. Seeds shiny, flattened, brown-black, escaping through an apical pore, the dispersion is probably
The monotypic genus Bergerocactus grows near the sea, on the Pacific coast, south-west of California in the United
States and northwestern Baja California in Mexico, rarer southward, in full sun, and is part of a plant community
named the chaparral, composed of thorny shrubs, Cactaceae and other Succulents such as Lophocereus, Ferocactus, Cylindropuntia, Echinocereus, Mammillaria, Agave, etc. It is commonly found from the sea level up to approximately 250 m in altitude.
Mexico (Baja California), USA (California).
Currently only one recognised species:
– Bergerocactus emoryi* (Engelm.) Britton & Rose 1909
References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" - ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)