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Echinocereus triglochidiatus 8.jpg
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
Scientific classification


See text


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

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.

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
A color picture of a green cactus with white and tan spines
Echinocereus reichenbachii var. reichenbachii

Formerly placed here[edit]

  • 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. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  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.
  4. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Echinocereus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-04-10.


  • 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 links[edit]