Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lem.
Engelmann's hedgehog cactus, Saints cactus, Hedgehog cactus, Strawberry cactus, Strawberry hedgehog cactus, Purple torch
USDA Symbol: ECEN
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
The 4-12 in., cylindrical, ribbed stems of saints cactus or hedgehog cactus may occur singly or in small clusters. Curved spines may be red, yellow, white or gray. Large, tubular flowers, which open during the day and bloom for several consecutive days, range from bright magenta to pale pink. A fleshy, spiny, red fruit follows.
Englemanns is one of the most common hedgehog cacti found in the southwestern deserts. Its purple to magenta flowers and four well-armed central spines help to identify it. Nine varieties are recognized, based on stem size, central spine characteristics, and flower size. One of the most conspicuous and exceptional varieties is var. nichollii, which has golden yellow spines and tall slender stems. Echinocereus engelmanii blooms in April and May.
The species of this plant is named for George Engelmann (1809-1884) who was born in Germany and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, as a young man. He was a physician and botanist, describing especially North American Abies (Firs), Agaves, Cactus (for which he described more than 108 species), Cuscuta (Dodder), Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family), Juncus (Rushes), Juniperus (“Cedar”), Pinus (Pines), Vitis (Grapes), and Yuccas. When he died much of his collection went to Missouri Botanical Garden.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Cactus/Succulent Size Notes:
Up to 10 inches high. Flower:
Flowers 2-3 1/4 inches long and over 3 inches across
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color:
Red , Pink Bloom Time:
Mar , Apr , May , Jun Bloom Notes: diurnal
, UT Native Distribution:
to s. CA,
s. to AZ
and n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Rocky & brushy plains, canyons, outwash fans & hillsides
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, rocky or gravelly soils.
PropagationDescription: Easily propagated from seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
Record Last Modified: 2010-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff