E. pentalophus Puerto Rico, Hidalgo Co, Texas, USA
Incredibly large and beautiful flowers almost hiding the plant
In age it forms clumps
of up to 20 × 100 cm,
it is a very fine sight in bloom, having few equals within the genus
Stems: Erect or prostrate, branched
above ground, sprawling and decumbent,
reddish-purple to dark or yellowish-green. Stems are
weak, 2.5 cm in diameter.
Ribs: 4 to 6, with low tubercles;
Central spines: 0 or 1 central spine;
Radial spines: 4 or 7, short, brown, yellowish, tan or ashy
white, usually very stiff and straight.
Flowers: Huge, up to 12 cm long lilac,
brilliant pink or magenta with a distinct white throat can almost hide
blossoms in mid April-may.
Fruits: Fruits are green with white pulp and ripens 3-4 months after
Remarks: The flowers on all subspecies are Bright pink & magenta with white
or yellow throats.
subspecies, varieties and forms:
Echinocereus pentalophus subsp. pentalophus:
It has a
that can be either prostrate or erect, having 3 to 5 ribs and 3 to 7
spines per areole. It is the most common subspecies. The stems are slightly thicker
and lighter green than the subspecies 'procumbens'.
Echinocereus pentalophus subsp. Leonensis:
It has erect
stems with 6 to 8 ribs and up to 9 spines per areole, and is thicker than
the other subspecies..
Echinocereus pentalophus subsp. Procumbens:
It has stems
that are semi-prostrate, and the
thinnest of all the subspecies; a deeper
green in color; with 4 to 5 ribs, and 5 to 7 spines per areole.
flowers up to 12 cm long
Cactées, 56 (1868)
Origin: USA (Texas: S TX in Bexar (San Antonio),
N McMullen, and along Rio Grande in Starr, Hidalgo, to E Cameron.),
central-eastern Mexico (Hidalgo, Queretaro, E Guanajuato, SE Coahuila,
Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas).
On alluvial coastal plains [pine-oak forests] on
sandy grassy places associated with thorn scrub, Agave
lechuguilla-Hechtia on rock in limestone cliffs. From sea level to
ca.1400 m altitude;
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Common Names: Lady Finger Cactus, Dog Tail, Alicoche.
- Cereus pentalophus de Candolle
Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17: 117. 1828
- Cereus propinquus Salm-Dyck ex
In : All. Gartenz 1 :336 (1833)
- Cereus procumbens Engelm.
In : Mem. Amer. Acad. Ser 2, 4 :50, in adnot (1849)
- Echinocereus procunbens (Engelm.)
Lemaire, loc. cit. (1868)
- Echinocereus pentalphus var.
procumbens (Engelm.) P. Fournier
In: Cactées & Pl. Grasses, 25
- Cereus penthalophus var. leptacanthus
- Echinocereus leptacanthus (Salm-Dyck)
- Echinocereus leonensis,
- Echinocereus pentalophus ssp. leonensis
This cactus is widely
cultivated for its flowers,
it is among the easiest species to grow, flower and propagate. Indicated
for full sun exposure. Water regularly from March to October. Rot prone in winter, it needs good drainage, It should be kept in a cool place during winter rest (it
briefly tolerate temp. as low as -7°C). Without
this cool winter period these plants normally won't get many
buds. Cascading, clustering, great for a
hanging display. Stems may possibly become purple and limp in winter, but
revitalize in early spring.
Propagation: Seeds or cutting
taxa, varieties, forms and
plants belonging to the
Taxon has lots of
synonyms (like most Echinocereus) with several
controversial varieties and subspecies):