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 fitchii Britton & Rose (1922)

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Texas - Laredo
Nuevo León, Tamaulipas
under shrubs among the Rio Grande

in 330–660 ft (100–200 m) altitude


named after William R. Fitch, travel companion of J. N. Rose
short cylindrical, 3.1–4.7 in (8–12 cm) long, 1.5–2 in (4–5 cm)  Ø, sparse clumping
ribs 10–14, flat roundish, slightly tubercular
areoles in 5 mm distance
about 20 radial spines, white
4–6 central spines,in different colors, usually brownish
flowers 2.3–2.7 in (6–7 cm) long, fragrant, pink to purple with a deep red throat
ovary is hairy, with dense bristles
seeds medium sized, black
Flowering time April–June in cultivation and habitat
4–5 years from seed
Synonyms Echinocereus reichenbachii var. fitchii (Britton & Rose) L. D. Benson (1969)
Echinocereus reichenbachii
ssp. fitchii (Britton & Rose) N. P. Taylor (1997)
CITES Appendix II
Description of "Kakteen von A bis Z" by Walter Haage with courtesy by Kakteen-Haage made available.