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Echinocereus dasyacanthus (Texas rainbow cactus)
Braden, Al

Echinocereus dasyacanthus

Echinocereus dasyacanthus Engelm.

Texas Rainbow Cactus, Spiny Hedgehog Cactus, Spiny Hedgehog, Golden Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus, Golden Rainbow Hedgehog, Yellow Pitaya

Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Synonym(s): Echinocereus ctenoides, Echinocereus dasyacanthus var. hildmannii, Echinocereus pectinatus var. ctenoides, Echinocereus pectinatus var. dasyacanthus, Echinocereus pectinatus var. neomexicanus


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The Texas rainbow cactus is oval at first, soon becoming cylindrical, and grows to 15 inches or so, with a 4-inch diameter. The stems commonly remain single, but old plants sometimes branch and form several heads. Each head has 12-21 narrow ribs. Fifteen to 25 spines grow out of the areoles, spreading widely and intertwining with those of other areoles. Flowers are about 3-6 inches long and are pale yellow to orange. Petals are quite long and pointed. Outer petals are sometimes tinged with magenta on the outside, and inner petals are streaked with green on the inside. The base of the petals is green. The stamens are cream- colored.


From the Image Gallery

54 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Stems may reach heights of 12 inches, and a diameter of 4 inches.
Flower: Yellow, occasionally with pink or orange tints to 4 inches long.
Fruit: Green fruits.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Diurnal. Yellow, occasionally with pink or orange tints.


Native Distribution: Extreme southeast Arizona, south New Mexico and far west Texas, along the Rio Grande and north into Pecos County.
Native Habitat: Scrubland, grassy plains, canyon sides and limestone terraces, up to 5,000 feet elevation.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes


Use Ornamental: Attractive, Desert landscape, Blooms ornamental
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1040 Collected 2007-06-05 in Brewster County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 1140 - Cacti (1991) Clive Innes and Charles Glass
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Echinocereus dasyacanthus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Echinocereus dasyacanthus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Echinocereus dasyacanthus


Record Modified: 2017-05-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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