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Echinocereus enneacanthus (Pitaya)
Trout, Keeper

Echinocereus enneacanthus

Echinocereus enneacanthus Engelm.

Pitaya, Strawberry Cactus, Banana Cactus, Cob Cactus, Purple Pitaya, Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus, Prostrate Hedgehog Cactus

Cactaceae (Cactus Family)


USDA Symbol: ECEN2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The cylindrical stems of the Strawberry Cactus are 3-30 inches long and 1 1/2-4 inches in diameter. They grow in loose clusters of a few to as many as 100. New stems grow as side branches, near the ground, so their first growth tends to be lateral, later turning upward, giving them a long, curling appearance. There are 7-10 ribs on each stem. The plant is bright green with a wrinkled appearance, looking withered in dry periods. The stems are often yellow-green in sunny locations. The tubercles are about 1/8 inch in diameter and 1/4-1 1/2 inches apart on mature stems. This cactus has fewer spines and shows more plant surface than most cacti. The purplish-red flowers are 2-3 inches long and about the same in diameter. They have 10-20 outer petals with pinkish, crinkled edges. The inner petals, 12-35, are in 1-3 rows. Anthers on the stamens are yellow, and the pistil has 8-12 lobes like most other Echinocereus species. The fruit is about 1 inch long, almost round, greenish to brown or purple.


From the Image Gallery

39 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Size Notes: Less than 1'
Flower: Flowers 2-2 1/2 inches long

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , Jul
Bloom Notes: Diurnal.


Native Distribution: Southwest Texas, southern New Mexico and Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi and Tamaulipas) (Webref 6)

Growing Conditions

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


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


Propagation Material: Seeds


Bibref 1140 - Cacti (1991) Clive Innes and Charles Glass
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

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Web Reference

Webref 6 - Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database] (2018) USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2021-01-26
Research By: TWC Staff, Joseph A. Marcus

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