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Plant - spring

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Echinocereus engelmannii - Engelmann's hedgehog cactus

Other Common Names: Engelmann's hedgehog cactus, calico cactus, strawberry hedgehog, Engelmann hedgehog, strawberry cactus
Plant Form: Cacti

Family: Cactaceae

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Plant Description

Origin: Native   Similar Species: Echinocereus fasciculatus
General Desc: Open or dense clusters, stems numbering up to 30. Many long spines give the plant a shaggy look.
Identification notes: Shaggy appearance compared to E. fasciculatus . The longest dagger-like central spine is flattened and white with a little twist.
Height: 1 foot     Width: 3 feet


Habitat Description: Sandy and rocky flats, hillsides, desert plains, gravelly slopes and mesas.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands
Elevation: Below 5000 feet


Color: Pinkish-purple     Flowering Period: Feb - May
Description: Earliest cactus to bloom in spring. Produces cup-shaped, 3 inch wide blooms for several days. Shows varying shades of magenta (pinkish-purple) with a green stigma in the center. Flowers close at night. Borne at the upper half to one third of the stems


Stem Color: Green     Number of Stems: Multiple     Stem Shape: Cylindrical     Stems Segmented: N     Stem Surface: Ribbed
Stem Description: Usually 1 - 25 uncrowded stems, mostly erect, cylindric or somewhat tapering. 10 - 13 somewhat wavy ribs per stem. Many long spines obscure the stem color.

Areoles (structures unique to cacti, found on the stems, areas from which spines, flowers and fruits emerge)

Areole Description: Circular or nearly so with 6 - 12 radial spines and 2-6 central spines, white felt first year.
Spine Color: Color varies from whitish to golden yellow to pinkish to black.     Spines Hooked: N    
Spine Description: Central spines often fading whitish, stout but flexible, often curved or twisted, usually flattened at the base, to 2 inches long. Radial spines similar but smaller, to 1 inch long. Spines can be bicolored or multicolored.


Fruit Color: Green to red   
Fruit Notes: Spiny subspherical to ovoid fruit to 1-1/4 inch long by 1 inch wide varying in color from green when young to red when mature. Fruit sheds spines at maturity.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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