Echinocereus sp. is one of 35 species of Echinocereus found in the southwest United States and Mexico. We are not sure which species we have, so if anyone knows what species or variation we have please, let us know. Here’s what I know about this cactus. The stems are cespitose, erect to procumbent to 9 inches (22.5 cm) long to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter with 7-8 ribs. The radial spines are about 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) long, needle shaped and number 15-18 per areole. Central spines number 1-3; needles are up to ½ inch (1.2 cm) long and are straw colored. New growth spines are tinged pink. It is a very easy cactus to grow.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, this cactus has bloomed every spring with attractive 3 inch (7.8 cm) long by 2.5 inch (6.4 cm) wide, lavender to light purple flowers.
Culture: Echinocereus sp. need full sun and well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts sand to 1 part loam with small gravel added to ensure good drainage. During the growing season, the plants are watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before water is added again. The cactus is fertilized only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter months, the cactus is put into cold rooms kept at 45° F (5° C) and watered only enough to keep them from shriveling.
Propagation: Echinocereus sp. is propagated from cuttings, division and seed when available.
Echinocereus sp. was featured as Plant of the Week April 15-21, 2005.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.