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  Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. mojavensis
(Syn: Echinocereus mojavensis)
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Echinocereus triglochidiatus var mojavensis (fma. inermis) SB686 Mesa Co, Colorado, USA
(In this population some plants can be almost completely spineless, while others have spined stems with many spines per areole.  Plants with intermediate characteristics are also common )
 


Strongly spined, clumping species with scarlet red flowers. They bloom from April through June, and are the first to bloom in the desert.

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Stoutness, colour and shape of spines greatly depends on  clone and growing condition.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms an cultivars of Echinocereus triglochidiatus.


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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. mojavensis 
(Engelm. & Bigelow) L. Benson
Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. ser. 4, 25:255. 1944

Origin:  Southern California to Colorado, and south through Texas into Mexico.

Plants in the western portion of the range of Echinocereus triglochidiatus are known as E. triglochidiatus var. mojavensis. That taxon includes curly-spined plants (mainly in California) and straight-spined plants (including most populations in Arizona, Utah, and western Colorado).

Habitat: Mojave desert, chaparral. It is a fairly common component of vegetation communities on dry, well-drained gravelly and rocky soils on upper bajadas and slopes into the mountains in the Upper Sonoran (Pinyon-Juniper Woodland), Transition (Yellow Pine Forest), and Canadian (Pine-Fir Forest) life zones. Sometimes the plants grow in sand-stuffed rock cracks. Such plants are small, and only have several stems. The plants growing by shady rocks and bushes looks much stronger.
Elevation
: Above about 1500-3000 m.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:

  • Echinocereus triglochidiatus Engelmann
    in F. A. Wislizenus, Mem. Tour N. Mexico. 93. 1848.
    Cereus triglochidiatus Engelmann 1848
  • Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. mojavensis (Engelm. & Bigelow) L. Benson
    Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. ser. 4, 25:255. 1944
  • Echinocereus triglochidianus var. mojavensis
  • Echinocereus coccineus subsp. mojavensis
  • Echinocereus triglochidianus subsp. mojavensis

Common NameMojave kingcup cactus, Mojave Hedgehog,  Mojave Mound Cactus, Mound Hedgehog-Cactus.

Echinocereus mojavensis, is one of the most interesting cacti. This species often forms large clumps, more than a half a meter in diameter, with more than a hundred heads (but large mounds with 500 heads have been reported)
Stems: Usually erect, densely packed
, up to about 30-50 cm tall, each usually less than about 5 cm in diameter, bluish green.
Ribs: About 10.
Areoles:
10-40 mm apart
, and somewhat woolly.
Spines: The plant is densely covered with spines
.  They are gray, flat, about 5cm long, curved (almost wavy), twisting, and often interlocking with those of neighboring stems to form a dense web of spines covering the mound. Central and radial spines are difficult to distinguish.
Inflorescence: Solitary flowers emerge from near the tip of individual stems. Flowers
are funnel-shaped; orange to red, and about 5-8 cm in diameter.
Blooming season: Blooms during spring.
Fruit
: Cylindrical, about 2,5
cm long, 1,5 cm in diameter. Reddish when ripe, spines deciduous. Juicy and edible, pulp white.  Fruiting: 2-2.5 months after flowering.

A spineless form (var. inermis) has been applied at various taxonomic ranks to individual plants with spines absent, or nearly so, in the eastern portion of var. mojavensis, mainly found in the mountains and mesas of western Colorado and eastern Utah. On these plants, areoles may have very few spines, and some stems can be almost completely spineless.  But the same plant will have spined stems and many spines per areole in another area.
 

 

 


Strongly spined, clumping species with scarlet red flowers.
They bloom from April through June, and are the first to bloom in the desert.

Cultivation:  This cactus is widely cultivated for its flowers.  It is among the easiest species to grow, flower and propagate.  Water regularly from March to October.  Rot prone in winter, it needs good drainage.  Claret Cups require strong sunlight to maintain a healthy appearance, and a harsh "dry and cool" winter environment combined with maximum light exposure enhances spring flower production. Frost Tolerance: Depending on the provenance, the Californian forms are hardy to -6 C;  the others are much more cold-resistant.
Propagation:
Seeds (usually), it also can be grown from cuttings, as it can branch from the base.

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.