Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lem.
Engelmann's Hedgehog Cactus, Saints Cactus, Hedgehog Cactus, Strawberry Cactus, Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus, Purple Torch
Cactaceae (Cactus Family)
USDA Symbol: ECEN
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.
Englemann's 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to 12 inches high.
Flower: Flowers 2-3 1/4 inches long and over 3 inches across.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Diurnal flowering.
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , NV , UT
Native Distribution: S. UT 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.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
BibliographyBibref 1140 - Cacti (1991) Clive Innes and Charles Glass
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From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1993 VOL. 10, NO.5 - Plant Now for Spring Beauty, Director's Report, Wildflower Center Offers Educati...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Echinocereus engelmannii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Echinocereus engelmannii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Echinocereus engelmannii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff