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
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
- Echinocereus engelmannii
(Parry ex Engelmann) Lemaire.
Cactées. 56. 1868
- Cereus engelmannii Parry ex Engelmann
In: Amer. J. Sci. Arts, ser. 2, 14: 338. 1852
- Echinocereus engelmannii var. chrysocentrus
(Engelmann & Bigelow) Rümpler
- Echinocereus armatus
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
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
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.
E. engelmanni var. armatus San Bernardino Co, CA. Heavy gold spine.
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.
conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars
of plants belonging to the
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):