Echinocactus texensis Hopffer
Horse Crippler, Devil's Pincushion, Horse Crippler Cactus, Devil's Head, Candy Cactus
Echinocactus courantianus, Echinocactus lindheimeri, Echinocactus platycephalus, Homalocephala texensis
Echinocactus texensis is a stout barrel cactus, solitary when young and very rarely slowly clustering in age. The stem is pale grey-green to grass green, flat-topped, hemispheric in old age but usually deep-seated with numerous ribs, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Spines are small but strong, pale tan, pink or reddish to grey. Flowers are up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long with equal diameter, ranging from white thru rose-pink to pale silvery-pink, with red throats in late spring and can appear on specimens around 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Fruits are fleshy, scarlet or crimson, spheric to egg-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Overall, these are very attractive cacti for dish gardens or indoor display. A collection of them is especially attractive, as they look like a collection of balls tossed upon the ground. It's critical, however, to never let these cactus be exposed to prolonged periods in water or even very high humidity. They will suffer from rot in the presence of humidity. Echinocactus are vulnerable to pests, including aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and whitefly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat it with the leave toxic option.
It's best to repot at the beginning of the growing season or summer. To repot a cactus, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Echinocactus.
Native to southeast New Mexico, west, central and south Texas.
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