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  Echinocereus coccineus var. paucispinus CACTUSPEDIA       

 


E. coccineus  SB402 Crocket Co. TX
 

Description: Usually clumping, often in large colonies of many as 50 thick, stems on each plant at maturity.
Stems: Semi-erect, pale green, up to 40 cm tall, 6 cm in diameter.
Ribs: 5 to 8 warty with narrow furrows.
Areoles:
Whitish, 1-2 cm apart.
Central spine:
0 or 1 dark, up to 3.5 cm long;
Radial spines: 3 to 6 straight or not, 1.5-2 cm long yellowish and turning grey after some years.
Flowers: Funnel shaped, hummingbird-attracting, scarlet with a clear throat,  length and width averaged 60 mm and 30 mm, respectively,  the petal tips are rounded,   stigma with 7 or 8 lobes. Peak flowering comes from late April to June on mature clumps.
Remarks: Female and male flowers: Echinocereus coccineus is a cactus with both hermaphroditic (bisexual) and dioecious (male and female) forms of flowers in different plant. Male flower shows pollen-filled anthers surrounding the base of the stigma lobes. While functional female flower from different plants show reduced filaments and empty anther sacs held below the stigma lobes.
The flowers appear specialized to hummingbirds but are also pollinated by bees they are huge and highly rewarding, and daily nectar production averaged 30 mg sugar/flower. This set of traits represents a syndrome rare among hummingbird flowers in which the flower fits the head rather than just the bill, and birds are well rewarded for a risky or inconvenient visit.

Cultivation: It is sensitive to overwatering (rot prone) needs a very good drainage to avoid rotting,  but requires more moisture than true desert cacti to grow and produce flowers , Keep drier and cool in winter. Need full sun. It is very cold resistant  from -10 to -25 C (depending on clones) or less for short periods of time. It is a fine plant for a rock garden or container, contrasts well with agaves, yuccas, and low-growing flowering plants.

Propagation:
Cutting as it branches freely from the base; Also can be grown from seeds.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Echinocereus coccineus.

 

 

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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name: Echinocereus coccineus var. paucispinus (Engelm.) D.J.Ferguson 1989

Common Name comprises: Scarlet hedgehog cactus.

Origin:  Southwestern USA (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, western Texas), Mexico (Sonora, Coahuila, Chihuahua)

Habitat:  It is found growing on rocky outcroppings, often in the partial-shade of oak and pine-oak woodlands and mixed conifer forest.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.
 

Synonyms:

  • Cereus paucispinus Engelm. 1856
  • Echinocereus coccineus subsp. paucispinus (Engelm.) Blum et al. 1998.
  • Echinocereus coccineus ssp. paucispinus (Engelm.) W. Blum, Michael Lange & J. Rutow
  • Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. paucispinus (Engelm.) W.T.Marshall 1941

Notes: E. coccineus v. paucispinus is  a tetraploid form that  was formerly considered (for its superficial resemblance) a synonym of  triglochidiatus, but  may be distinguished by its relatively terete and more consistently straight spines and now is considered a distinct species.
 

 



A female flower with reduced filaments and empty anther sacs held below the stigma lobes.



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti