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Echinocereus is a genus of ribbed, usually small to medium-sized cylindrical cacti, comprising about 70 species native to the southern United States and Mexico in very sunny rocky places. Usually the flowers are large and the fruit edible.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus 8.jpg
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
Scientific classification


See text


Morangaya G.D.Rowley
Wilcoxia Britton & Rose[1]

The name comes from the Ancient Greek ἐχῖνος (echinos), meaning "hedgehog," and the Latin cereus meaning "candle." They are sometimes known as hedgehog cacti,[2] a term also used for the Pediocactus and Echinopsis.[3]


Echinocereus are bushy and globular with tight spines which are often colorful and decorative. The flowers last slightly longer than those of other cacti.[citation needed]


Echinocereus is easier to cultivate than many other cacti.[citation needed] They need a light soil, a sunny exposure, a fresh and dry winter to flower. They like a soil slightly richer than other cacti. In the wild, several of the species are cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures as low as -23 °C but only in dry conditions.


Hedgehog cactus growing in the wild
Echinocereus reichenbachii var. reichenbachii


Formerly placed hereEdit

  • Echinopsis candicans (Gillies ex Salm-Dyck) F.A.C.Weber ex D.R.Hunt (as E. candicans (Gillies ex Salm-Dyck) Rümpler)[4]


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Echinocereus Engelm". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-02-13. Archived from the original on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2011-04-10. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Echinocereus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  3. ^ "Echinopsis (Hedgehog Cacti)". Cactus and Succulent Society of Australia. Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2008-07-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Echinocereus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2011-04-10. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)


  • Fischer, Pierre C. 70 Common Cacti of the Southwest. City unknown: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1989.
  • Anderson, Miles (1998). The Ultimate Book of Cacti and Succulents. ISBN 1-85967-460-7. Lorenz Books.
  • Innes C, Wall B (1995). Cacti' Succulents and Bromaliads. Cassell & The Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Anderson, Edward F. : "The Cactus Family" (2001)
  • Taylor, Nigel P.: The Genus Echinocereus. Kew Magazine Monograph, Timber Press 1985, ISBN 0-88192-052-5
  • Blum, Lange, Rischer & Rutow: Echinocereus, (1998)

External linksEdit