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  Echinocereus reichenbachii CACTUS ART

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Flowers are
gigantic intense hot pink-purple, abundant and scented, 5-7 cm long.

Photo and © copyright by Irwin Lightstone

Description: Solitary or slowly branching cylindrical shaped cactus with up to 12 branches. It is one of the smaller Echinocereus species.
Stem: Erect, cylindrical or short cylindrical, 7 to 40 cm tall, 2,5 to 10 cm in diameter
Ribs: 10-19 straight or slightly undulate.
Areoles:1-6(-10) mm apart.
Radial spines: 20 to 36 , straight to slightly curved, held closely against the the ribs of the stems, organized in 2 series, pectinately arranged or nearly so, 5 to 8 mm long. Multi-coloured, white to tan, dull pink, dark brown, or purplish black.
Central spines: 0 to7 ( but usually absent) small , terete, 1-6(-15) mm long, often darker yellowish with a brown tip, at first, whitish on older areoles.
Flowers: Beautiful, abundant, scented, intense pink flowers, 5 to 7 cm long (5-7 cm). Flower tube 22-40 × 10-30 mm; flower tube hairs 5-15 mm; inner tepals silvery pink to magenta, usually white, crimson, green, or multicoloured proximally, 23-40 × 5-15 mm, tips relatively thin, delicate; anthers yellow; nectar chamber 2-5 mm.
Blooming season: Early May to Late June.
Fruit: Ovoid green, olive green, or dark green, fruit up to 28 mm long; fruiting 1.5-2.5 months after flowering.
Seeds: Black.



Echinocereus reichenbachii is cold-hardy and endures frost as long as it is kept dry.




Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Echinocereus reichenbachii ssp. reichenbachii (Terscheck ex Walpers) Haage Jr. ex Britton & Rose
Pubblished in: Cactaceae. 3: 25. 1922.

Origin Southwestern USA (Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas), northeastern Mexico (Coahuila,Nuevo León, Tamaulipas)

Habitat:  Chihuahuan Desert, desert scrub, grasslands, oak-juniper woodlands at an altitude of 0-1500 m; It thrives in a variety of sites and soils often found growing out of cracks in solid rock.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common English Names include: The popular name of Echinocereus reichenbachii is Lace hedgehog cactus or simply Lace Cactus (due to the look of the spines). Other names are: Black Lace Cactus, Classen's Cactus, Merry Widow Cactus, Purple Candle Cactus.

Etymology: Named after Mrs. Reichenbach.


  • Echinocactus reichenbachii Walpers, Repert. Bot. Syst. 2: 320. 1843
  • E. reichenbachii var. albispinus (Lahman) L. D. Benson
  • E. reichenbachii subsp. baileyi (Rose) N. P. Taylor
  • E. reichenbachii subsp. caespitosus (Engelmann) W. Blum & Mich. Lange
  • E. reichenbachii subsp. fitchii (Britton & Rose) L. D. Benson
  • Echinocereus pectinatus var. reichenbachii (Terscheck ex Walpers) Werdermann 1930
  • Echinocereus caespitosus var. reichenbachii Ters. ex Borg 1937a

The taxonomic and geographic boundaries among the segregate species or numerous proposed infraspecific taxa of Echinocereus reichenbachii remain nebulous and controversial. In no place do pure populations exist sympatrically, and all taxa appear completely interfertile. Typical E. reichenbachii is endemic to Mexico, near Saltillo, Coahuila. The common plants of E. reichenbachii in Texas, usually lacking central spines, are weakly distinguished from typical E. reichenbachii and are the basis for E. reichenbachii subsp. caespitosus. Oklahoma populations with unusually long bristlelike spines were named E. baileyi Rose [E. reichenbachii subsp. baileyi]. They intergrade, however, with the nearby, short-spined populations of E. reichenbachii. Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albispinus pertains to intermediates between E. baileyi and E. reichenbachii subsp. caespitosus. The flowers of E. reichenbachii var. fitchii are among the largest in the species, and their exact color pattern may prove taxonomically significant. Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albertii is somewhat morphologically and geographically intermediate between var. caespitosus and var. fitchii, but with flowers more closely resembling var. fitchii; it is sometimes considered a synonym of var. fitchii or a variety of E. fitchii Britton & Rose. The name "Echinocereus melanocentrus" appears frequently in cactus literature but has not been validly published.

The Echinocereus reichenbachii species group (E. reichenbachii, E. chisosensis, E. rigidissimus, E. pseudopectinatus, and a number of Mexican species) has unusually thin, bristlelike spines clothing the flowers and fruits as well as conspicuous, cobwebby tomentum of unusually long areolar hairs. The persistent, dry, white features of the flower tube are an essential distinction contrasting with the otherwise similar E. pectinatus species group (E. pectinatus, E. dasyacanthus, and possibly E. bonkerae), regardless of the spectacular, colorful floral displays.


This species has nice green stigma and many
many cream stamens.

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

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars taxa of plants belonging to the Echinocereus reichenbachii complex (This Taxon has lots of synonyms whit several controversial varieties and subspecies):

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

Photo gallery Echinocereus

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.