Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus

Echinocereus engelmannii

Also called Strawberry cactus, these plants produce edible fruit that is reported to taste like strawberries. The brilliant magenta flowers last about 5 days and open in April through May in Phoenix. Sharp spines protect this cactus from rodents and other herbivores. Clusters of up to 50 stems can spread to 3′ wide.

Flowers: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Status: Native
Origin: Sonoran and Mohave deserts of Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah into northern Mexico, from sea level to 5,000′
Family: Cactaceae
Size: 1′ high x 3′ wide
Sun: Full
Watering: None once established
Growth Rate: Slow
Soil: Tolerant
Temperature: Cold hardy to 15 F, heat loving
Disease and Pests: Root rot if soil is too wet
Uses: Nectar plant. Fruit provide food source for wildlife.
Notes: Listed as Salvage Restricted by the USDA NRCS.

There are 8 varieties in Echinocereus engelmannii
E. engelmannii var. acicularis, Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus (AZ, CA); 
E. engelmannii var. armatus, Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus (CA, NV); 
E. engelmannii var. chrysocentrus, Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus (AZ, CA, NV, UT); 
E. engelmannii var. engelmannii, Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus (AZ, CA, NV); 
E. engelmannii var. howei, Howe’s Hedgehog Cactus (AZ, CA, NV); 
E. engelmannii var. munzii, Munz’s Hedgehog Cactus (CA, NV); 
E. engelmannii var. purpureus, Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus (CA); 
E. engelmannii var. variegatus, Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus (AZ, UT).


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