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Echinocereus engelmannii var. armatus
 

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Echinocereus engelmanni var. armatus is the most formidably spiny extreme of the species.
 

Description: E. engelmanni var armatus is the most formidably spiny extreme of the species it is a clumping columnar cactus, 6-25-branched, ultimately forming somewhat open clumps of stems.
Stems: Suberect or erect light green, cylindrical or somewhat tapering distally, usually 15-20 cm tall, and about 5 cm in diameter, branching freely from the base;
Ribs: 11 to 14 low obtuse, tubercles indistinct, crests slightly undulate.
Areoles: 6-15 mm apart, wool present in first year only.
Spines: 8-20 per areole up to 13 cm long; divergent-porrect, stout, and rigid, straight or curving and somewhat twisted, brownish-pink or (usually) dull golden-yellow.
Radial spines: Lighter whitish to creamy coloured 8-20 mm long long, spreading.
Flowers: From purple to lavender. The flowers are up to 7 cm in diameter, 5-8 cm long . Flower tube hairy.
Blooming season: Spring, flowers are diurnal close at night and reopen in the morning and last for about five days.
Fruit: Red or orangish 2.5-4cm long, spherical, fleshy, pulp whitish be-coming infused with pink or red from the skin. The fruit is edible, it is said to taste like strawberry.
 

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E. engelmanni var. armatus San Bernardino Co, CA. Heavy gold to brown spine

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name: Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lem. var. armatus L.D. Benson
In: Cact. Succ. J. (US) 41: 33 (1969)

Origin: Native to California in the Argus mountains, Inyo county and aest of Victoville, san Bernardino County but also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America.

Habitat: Grows on gravel, sand and rocky hills in Creosote Bush Scrub, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, Joshua Tree Woodland.

Common Names include:  Armored hedgehog cactus, Engelmann's hedgehog cactus, Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus, Saint's cactus.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:

  • Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelmann) Lemaire.
    Publisced in: Cactées. 56. 1868
  • Cereus engelmannii Parry ex Engelmann
    In: Amer. J. Sci. Arts, ser. 2, 14: 338. 1852 (as engelmanni);
  • Echinocereus engelmannii var. chrysocentrus (Engelmann & Bigelow) Rümpler
  • Echinocereus armatus
 



E. engelmanni var. armatus San Bernardino Co, CA. Heavy gold spine.


Cultivation: In cultivation the strawberry hedgehog grows rather slowly and 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 cold resistant  to -10° ( or less depending on clones)  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. It will show  its  flowers only if we provide an adequate winter rest period.

Propagation: Seeds, also can be grown from cutting as it branches  from the base.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Echinocereus engelmanni complex (This Taxon has lots of synonyms  whit several controversial varieties and subspecies and comprises a multitude of different forms, but where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics):


Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery Echinocereus



 

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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