Echinocereus engelmannii

(Parry ex Engelmann) Lemaire

Cactées, 56. 1868.

Common names: Engelmann’s hedgehog cactus strawberry hedgehog cactus
Basionym: Cereus engelmannii Parry ex Engelmann Amer. J. Sci. Arts, ser. 2, 14: 338. 1852 (as engelmanni)
Synonyms: Echinocereus engelmannii var. armatus L. D. Benson Echinocereus engelmannii var. chrysocentrus (Engelmann & Bigelow) Rümpler Echinocereus engelmannii var. howei L. D. Benson
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Mentioned on page 167.

Plants 3–60-branched, ultimately forming somewhat open clumps. Stems mostly erect, cylindric or somewhat tapering distally, (5–) 14–45 (–70) × 3–9 cm; ribs 10–13, crests slightly undulate; areoles 6–10 (–15) mm apart. Spines (8–) 15–20 per areole, usually straight (curved and twisted in desert mountains and peninsular ranges of California), individual spines with broad zones of different colors: whitish or grayish, dull golden-yellow, or reddish-brown to nearly black; radial spines 6–14 per areole, 8–20 (–50) mm; central spines (2–) 4–6 (–9) per areole, divergent-porrect, 12–70 mm, abaxial central spine often fading whitish, flat to sharply angled (terete or nearly so in north-central Arizona). Flowers 6–9 × 5–9 cm; flower tube 13–30 × 10–30 mm; flower tube hairs 1 mm; inner tepals bright-rose-pink to magenta, often varying from paler to darker in same population, proximally darker, 37–75 × (8–) 14–25 mm, tips relatively thin, delicate; anthers yellow; nectar chamber 4–6 mm. Fruits red or orangish, 25–45 mm, pulp whitish becoming infused with pink or red from the skin. 2n = 44.


Phenology: Flowering Mar–Apr; fruiting May–Jul.
Habitat: Sonoran and Mojave deserts, chaparral, pinyon-juniper woodlands
Elevation: 200-2400 m

Distribution

V4 318-distribution-map.gif

Ariz., Calif., Nev., Utah, Mexico (Baja California), Mexico (Sonora)

Discussion

The characteristics distinguishing Echinocereus engelmannii from E. fasciculatus to the east are poorly documented, and W. Blum et al. (1998) combined the two as separate subspecies of E. engelmannii. Historically, E. engelmannii has been characterized as having the abaxial central spine in each areole particularly long, pale, and strongly compressed dorsiventrally (sharply angled, hence daggerlike), contrasting with the other spines. In practice that trait is not always diagnostic. Plants called Echinocereus engelmannii var. acicularis L. D. Benson are essentially morphologically and geographically intermediate between those referred to E. fasciculatus and E. engelmannii var. chrysocentrus.

The history of confusion with Echinocereus nicholii has resulted in misidentification of yellow-spined individuals of E. engelmannii.

Spine color polymorphism, common within Echinocereus engelmannii, provided the original basis for varieties chrysocentrus and purpureus. The well-marked, identifiable extremes often occur in populations that include individuals easily assigned to other named varieties, or not assignable to any. L. D. Benson (1969, 1982) and subsequent authors (e.g., N. P. Taylor 1985; W. Blum et al. 1998) have attempted to recognize infraspecific taxa within E. engelmannii. However, one of those is clearly a distinct species (E. nicholii), while the remainder are either too poorly defined or too poorly known to treat fully here. At higher elevations beyond the western edge of the desert, E. engelmannii var. munzii (Parish) P. Pierce & Fosberg has been distinguished by its curving, twisting, gray spines, somewhat resembling spines of westernmost plants of E. triglochidiatus var. mojavensis. Plants of the western Sonoran Desert margin in the Mexican boundary region in California are the typical E. engelmannii var. engelmannii. Similar plants from the opposite, eastern, side of the Sonoran Desert, in Arizona, have been called E. engelmannii var. acicularis L. D. Benson. In the intervening Colorado River Valley is spinier E. engelmannii var. chrysocentrus (Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow) Rümpler. In E. engelmannii var. acicularis at the lowest altitudes, central spines are usually four, in which cases taxonomic segregation from E. engelmannii var. chrysocentrus seems arbitrary. At higher altitudes, plants of E. engelmannii var. acicularis with only one or two central spines per areole are frequent, and the abaxial central spine may be terete instead of angular and daggerlike as in E. engelmannii var. chrysocentrus. The most formidably spiny extremes of the species were segregated as E. engelmannii vars. howei and armatus; however, other individuals in the original populations (type localities) are readily assigned to E. engelmannii var. chrysocentrus. W. Blum et al. (1998) placed all of the above varieties under E. engelmannii subsp. engelmannii.

Plants smaller in all parts and with fewer central spines from north-central Arizona are Echinocereus engelmannii subsp. decumbens (Clover & Jotter) W. Blum & Mich. Lange. L. D. Benson (1969) referred those to var. variegatus (Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow) Rümpler, but the type locality of var. variegatus is in a different region. The status of E. engelmannii var. purpureus L. D. Benson remains uncertain; its similarity to unidentified diploid material found in northern Arizona suggests that it could be a separate species, but more variable than its original diagnosis allowed.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"thin" is not a number.

... more about "Echinocereus engelmannii"
cushionlike +
circular to linear +
1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br /> (1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
hourglass--shaped +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
Allan D. Zimmerman +  and Bruce D. Parfitt +
(Parry ex Engelmann) Lemaire +
hardened +
Cereus engelmannii +
triangular +
curved +  and straight +
divergent-porrect +
variously angled +  and flattened +
1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br /> (7 cm70 mm <br />0.07 m <br />) +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
Engelmann’s hedgehog cactus +  and strawberry hedgehog cactus +
mucilaginous +
undulate +
Ariz. +, Calif. +, Nev. +, Utah +, Mexico (Baja California) +  and Mexico (Sonora) +
200-2400 m +
not separating +
1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br /> (1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br />) +
6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br /> (9 cm90 mm <br />0.09 m <br />) +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
2.6 cm26 mm <br />0.026 m <br /> (5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br />) +
1.3 cm13 mm <br />0.013 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (2.6 cm26 mm <br />0.026 m <br />) +
1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
orangish;red +
dehiscent +  and indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
spheric +  and narrowly obovoid +
2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br /> (4.5 cm45 mm <br />0.045 m <br />) +
Sonoran and Mojave deserts, chaparral, pinyon-juniper woodlands +
0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 m <br /> (1.4 cm14 mm <br />0.014 m <br />) +
3.7 cm37 mm <br />0.037 m <br /> (7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
rudimentary +
flat +  and terete +
nearly +  and microscopic +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br />) +
tuberculate +
fluted;spheric;depressed-spheric or club-shaped +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
smooth +  and tuberculate +
deciduous +  and persistent +
Flowering Mar–Apr +  and fruiting May–Jul. +
mucilaginous +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
red +, pink +  and whitish +
triangular +
arillate +  and strophiolate +
0.04 cm0.4 mm <br />4.0e-4 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
rugose +  and tuberculate +
spheric;obovoid +
tuberculate +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br />) +
black +, brown +, reddish +, yellow +  and white +
straight +
deciduous +
3mm +  and 150mm +
15 (?) +  and 20 (?) +
roughened +  and smooth +
acicular +  and subulate +
0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 m <br /> (2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br />) +
0.01 cm0.1 mm <br />1.0e-4 m <br /> (0.25 cm2.5 mm <br />0.0025 m <br />) +
decurrent +
unsegmented +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
yellow-green +  and dark green +
14cm;45cm +
tapering +  and cylindric +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (40 cm400 mm <br />0.4 m <br />) +
succulent +
3cm;9cm +
yellowish green +  and green +
tuberculate +
Echinocereus engelmannii var. armatus +, Echinocereus engelmannii var. chrysocentrus +  and Echinocereus engelmannii var. howei +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Echinocereus engelmannii +
Echinocereus +
species +
dull +  and glossy +
1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br /> (?) +
epiphytic;epiphytic;epiphytic +
decumbent +, pendent +, sprawling +, ascending +  and erect +
barrel-shaped +  and spheric +
grayish dull golden-yellow or reddish-brown +  and nearly black +