Claret-cup, Hedgehog, Pitaya or Rainbow cactus Echinocerus spp.

Photos

Echinocerus straminus (Strawberry)
Echinocerus pectinatus (Rainbow)
Echinocerus triglocidatus (Claret-cup)
Echinocerus enneacanthus (Hedgehog)
General Information
Plant Form Flower Plant Size 2' x 3'
Plant Type Perennial Water Usage Low
Sunlight Sun Colors Pink, Red, Yellow
Physical Description A varied group of very spiny, globular stem succulents, single stemmed when young, but often branching at the base with age. The multi-stemmed groups of some species can include 40+ heads in clusters up to 3' across. Large waxy flowers in brillant shades of reds, pinks and yellows are followed by juicy round fruit which are relished by wildlife and sometimes by man.
Care and Maintenance Numerous very unpleasant spines await the unwary. Must have perfect drainage in poor, thin or coarse soils. Often killed by improper transplanting techniques. Simply not adapted to normal garden conditions and need experienced care.
Gardener's notes Several species native to El Paso including the beautiful red flowered Claret-cup, the Rainbow hedgehogs with alternating bands of pastel colored spines and the hot magenta flowering mounds and delicious fruit of the Strawberry Pitaya. These and similar beautiful cacti are seldom nursery grown and most offered for sale are collected from the wild. Their use is NOT RECOMMENDED for landscaping as even legitimately salvaged plants are normally doomed to slow death in all but the most specialized garden.