Echinocereus rigidissimus subsp. rubispinus (G.Frank & A.B.Lau) N.P.Taylor
Pink Comb Cactus, Rainbow Cactus, Ruby Rainbow
Echinocereus pectinatus var. rubispinus, Echinocereus pectinatus var. rubrispinus, Echinocereus rigidissimus var. rubispinus, Echinocereus rigidissimus var. rubrispinus
Echinocereus rigidissimus subsp. rubispinus is a small columnar cactus with erect cylindrical stems densely covered with ruby red spines. The stems can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall and 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.
The flowers are pinkish-red, magenta, or red and have white throats. They are up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and appear near the top of the stem in late spring and summer.
The subspecific epithet "rubispinus (roo-bih-SPIN-us)" means "ruby red thorn-bush" and refers to the color of the spines.
USDA hardiness zones 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 cacti, you can most likely grow Echinocereus well. One of the key factors in success is avoiding any hint of wet soil. Because their root systems are weak, they are especially prone to root rot, eventually killing your plant. Otherwise, they thrive on a program of intense bright light, slight water, and a steady diet of light fertilizer. These cacti are vulnerable to mealybugs and aphids.
Echinocereus are slow-growing cacti that should only need repotting every other year or so. You can prolong 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.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Echinocereus.
Echinocereus rigidissimus subsp. rubispinus is native to Mexico.
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