Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus, Hedgehog Cactus
Scientific Name: Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lemaire
Synonym: Cereus engelmannii, Echinocereus engelmannii var. acicularis, Cereus munzii, Echinocereus munzii, Echinocereus engelmannii var. chrysocentrus, Echinocereus engelmannii var. purpureus, Echinocereus engelmannii var. variegatus
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Recommended Temperature Zone:|
Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 14° F (-10°C)
Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Origin: USA (southern California, Arizona, southern Nevada), Mexico (Baja California down to nortern Baja California Sur, Sonora)
Growth Habits: Clumping columnar cactus, mostly erect light green stems, 4 to 12 inches tall (10-30 cm), 2 to 4 inches diameter (5-10 cm), branching freely from the base; 11 to 14 low obtuse ribs; 4 to 6 yellow or brownish central spines, 2 to 3 inches long (5-7 cm); 10 to 13 radials, 0.4 inch long (1 cm).
Watering Needs: Little water when established
Propagation: Offsets, seeds
The Strawberry Hedgehog is one of the most common species of hedgehog cactus in the southwestern USA. Still, there are a number of varieties of Echinocereus engelmannii, and some are quite rare.
In cultivation the strawberry hedgehog growe rather slowly and appreciate a sandy soil with good drainage.
The more common strawberry hedgehog has bright pink flowers in spring (February to April in Phoenix), but some varieties have different colors, from purple to lavender. The flowers are up to 3 inches in diameter (7 cm), 2 to 3.2 inches long (5-8 cm). Flowers close at night and reopen in the morning
The inch-long (2.5 cm) fruit is edible (if you can reach through the spines). It is said to taste like strawberry, and is eaten readily by birds and rodents.