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Echinocereus viridiflorus (Nylon Hedgehog Cactus)


Scientific Name

Echinocereus viridiflorus Engelm.

Common Names

Nylon Hedgehog Cactus, Small-flowered Hedgehog Cactus, Small-flower Hedgehog Cactus, Green Pitaya, Green-flowered Pitaya, Green-flower Pitaya, Green-flowered Torch Cactus, Green-flower Torch Cactus, Green Hedgehog, Green-flower Hedgehog Cactus, Gold-spine Hedgehog Cactus, Golden Spine Hedgehog, Varied Hedgehog, Varied Hedgehog Cactus


Cereus viridiflorus, Echinocactus viridiflorus, Echinocereus chloranthus, Echinocereus standleyi

Scientific Classification

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


Echinocereus viridiflorus is a small cactus with spherical or cylindrical stems up to 12 inches (30 cm) and up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) in diameter. It is mostly unbranched, but it may occur in squat clusters of several stems. The body of the plant is ridged and lined with many areoles bearing spines. The spines are red, yellow, white, purplish, or bicolored, sometimes with darker tips. The flower is up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long and has tepals in shades of yellowish, brownish, greenish, or occasionally red, with darker reddish mid stripes.

Echinocereus viridiflorus (Nylon Hedgehog Cactus)

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USDA hardiness zones 6a to 11b: from −5 °F (−20.6 °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 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 the time to repotting by removing plantlets and potting them up in their 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.


Echinocereus viridiflorus is native to the central and south-central United States and northern Mexico.


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