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Echinocereus enneacanthus (Strawberry Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Echinocereus enneacanthus Engelm.

Common Names

Strawberry Cactus, Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus, Green Strawberry, Green Strawberry Hedgehog, Banana Cactus, Alicoche Banana Cactus, Pitaya, Smallspine Pitaya, Purple Pitaya, Prostrate Hedgehog, Prostrate Hedgehog Cactus, Cob Cactus

Synonyms

Echinocereus enneacanthus subsp. enneacanthus, Echinocereus enneacanthus var. enneacanthus, Cereus dubius, Cereus enneacanthus, Cereus merkeri, Echinocereus dubius, Echinocereus merkeri, Echinocereus sarissophorus, Echinocereus uehri, Echinocereus uspenskii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Pachycereeae
Genus: Echinocereus

Description

Echinocereus enneacanthus is a cactus with cylindrical stems, forming dense or lax clumps either loose decumbent or erect, with 20 to 100 branches, usually branching before flowering. The stems are pale to bright green, up to 3.3 feet (1 m) long and up to 5.6 inches (14 cm) in diameter. The radial spines are needle-like, slightly curved, brownish, often tipped or banded with darker brown and up to 1.5 feet (45 cm) long. The central spines are slightly curved, white, tan, brown or grey, often nearly black and up to 3 feet (90 cm) long. The flowers are funnel-shaped, purple-red to pink in varying shades with deep reddish throat and up to 4.4 inches (11 cm) in diameter. It flowers in early spring during mid-morning.

Photo via wikimedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

If you can successfully grow other globular cactus, you can most likely grow Echinocereus well. One of the key factors in success with these is avoiding any hint of wet soil. Because their root systems are weak, they are especially prone to root rot, which will eventually kill your plant. Otherwise, they thrive on a program of strong, bright light; slight water; and a steady diet of light fertilizer. Echinocereus is vulnerable to mealybugs and aphids.

Echinocereus are slow growing cactus that should only need repotting every other year or so. You can prolong the time to repotting by removing plantlets and potting them up in their own pots. When repotting a cactus, carefully remove it from its pot and knock away any clumped soil. These plants tend to be shallow-rooted with weak root systems, so take care not to damage their roots… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Echinocereus

Origin

Native to Mexico and United States (New Mexico, and Texas).

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