Echinocereus Engelmann (1848)

(Latin "echinus" = hedgehog; Latin "cereus" = waxy, candle)
a genus of columnar cacti, because of its spination and short columnar stems

short columnar to oblong to flat globular, soft fleshy, forming clumps
ribs very different, often less than10; spines partly spreaded, partly pectinate, colored
flowers large, last for a long time, calyx and tube acicular spined
stigma mostly green; fruits strong spined, juicy; seeds small to medium size, black

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Mexico - northern of Mexico City to
USA - California, Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota
very warm steppes

Growth period

sunny and hot, but some differences are recommend
1. with green, less spined stems, are easy to cultivate,
    should be protected against blazing sun in spring, after the flower time placing on a sunny location
2. with stronger spined stems, are somewhat sensitive to too much water, carefully watering
    placing on a location with full sun exposure
permanent moisture is to avoid, first watering should be in March
then constant watering, but always after the soil is dried, constant slightly moisture is needed to form buds during the spring
in early summer enough watering, in high summer and early fall sparsely watering
from late fall on to early spring keep them absolutly dry

Winter period

very bright and absolutly dry with a minimum of 42–50 F (6–10°C)
shrink of the stems is usual
some species are cold hardy and it is possible to cultivate them outdoor the whole year around


minerally, nutritious and peremable to water
addition of quartz gravel, pumice, expanded slate and some humus
Echinocereus coccineus G. Engelmann (1848)
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SB128 - Sandia Mountains,
Bernalillo County, New Mexico, USA
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SB850 - Ladrone Mountain,
Soccorro County, New Mexico, USA
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Habitat - Priest Canyon, Valencia County,
New Mexico, USA
  Habitat - Quebradas, Soccoro County,
New Mexico, USA
  Habitat - Santa Catalina Mountains,
Pima County, Arizona, USA
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Field number

SB128, SB850 - collected by Steven Brack


Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas
Chihuahua, Coahuila
in 490–8860(–9840) ft (150–2700(–3000) m) altitude


scarlet (blooming) Echinocereus
globular-ovoid, later elongated, 1.2–2 in (3–5 cm) Ø
forming clusters by branching, mounds with many heads
ribs 8–10, with flat tubercles
areoles oval
8–12 radial spines, to 0.8 in (2 cm) long, acicular, mostly white
several central spines, longer, somewhat stronger, yellowish,
some whitish, reddish or blackish
flowers 2–2.7 in (5–7 cm) long, scarlet (to crimson)
Flowering time April–June in cultivation
March–June in habitat
4–6 years from seed
Comment Echinocereus coccineus and also SB128 and SB850 are with rain protection to about -4 F (- 20°C) cold hardy.
Synonyms Cereus coccineus (G. Engelmann) G. Engelmann (1848) (nom. illeg.)
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
var. coccineus (G. Engelmann) W. T. Marshall (1941)
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
ssp. coccineus (G. Engelmann) U. Guzmán (2003)
CITES Appendix II
Description of "Kakteen von A bis Z" by Walter Haage with courtesy by Kakteen-Haage made available.
Pictures 10 to 12 with courtesy by © Rob Romero, Tucson, Arizona made available.