Echinoceres maritimus is a
mounding cactus, forming colonies of spherical to cylindrical stems. In
habitat they can grow up to 2 m
in diameter and 40 cm tall, with as many as
300 stems! They may vary from long (usual) to short-spined.
This species resemble in habit
Stems: Globose or short-cylindrical, light to dark green 5-30 cm
tall, 2.5-3.5 cm in diameter.
Ribs: 8 to10, acute, 8-15 mm wide.
Central and upper spines: 4 to 10, pinkish
to bright red, becoming dirty yellow or grey, spreading, stiff,
straight, strongly flattened and angled, erect, 2,5-6cm long. (up to 3
mm in diameter)
Radial and lower spines: 7 to12, 1,5-2,5 cm long.
infundibuliform, bright yellow, up to 6 cm
long and in diameter.
Fruit: Globose, green, becoming red, spiny, drying up but not
breaking. Ripens in 4-8 months.
Seeds: 1,2-1,3/1 mm dark/brown black.
recognize two very similar subspecies:
The 'hancockii' subspecies (regarded by N.P. TAYLOR as
only a giant form of Echinocereus maritimus) is
characterized by much larger heavily-spined stems that are 5,5 to 7
thick. It forms smaller clumps of up to 30 heads. The color of the
spines of 'hancockii' varies from light yellow to
black-brown, while young spination in the apex is red in color
The 'maritimus' subspecies grows in great clusters up to
over 2 m wide, with hundreds of small short spined stems that are 4 to 7
Cultivation: This plant from Baja California needs
warmer winter temperatures,
and can resist only occasional light frost, above -2 C.
It is sensitive to over-watering (rot prone)
and needs good drainage.
with a half-strength liquid fertilizer in summer.
Keep absolutely dry in winter.
Needs full sun;
Propagation: Seeds or cutting (if available)