Echinocereus reichenbachii

(Walpers) Haage ex Britton & Rose

Cactaceae 3: 25. 1922.

Common names: Lace hedgehog cactus
Conservation concern
Basionym: Echinocactus reichenbachii Walpers Repert. Bot. Syst. 2: 320. 1843
Synonyms: Echinocactus reichenbachii var. albispinus (Lahman) L. D. Benson Echinocactus reichenbachii subsp. baileyi (Rose) N. P. Taylor Echinocactus reichenbachii subsp. caespitosus (Engelmann) W. Blum & Mich. Lange Echinocactus reichenbachii subsp. fitchii (Britton & Rose) L. D. Benson
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Mentioned on page 173.

Plants unbranched or sometimes 12-branched. Stems erect, cylindric or short cylindric, 7.5–30 (–40) × (2.5–) 4–10 cm; ribs 10–19, slightly undulate; areoles 1–6 (–10) mm apart. Spines 15–36 per areole, white to tan, dull pink, dark-brown, or purplish black, central spines and spine tips often darker; radial spines 12–36 per areole, straight to slightly curved, appressed, pectinately arranged or nearly so, 2–8 (–25) mm; central spines 0–7 per areole, terete, 1–6 (–15) mm. Flowers 4.5–8 (–12) × 5–10 (–12) cm; flower tube 22–40 × 10–30 mm; flower tube hairs 5–15 mm; inner tepals silvery-pink to magenta, usually white, crimson, green, or multicolored proximally, 23–40 × 5–15 mm, tips relatively thin, delicate; anthers yellow; nectar chamber 2–5 mm. Fruits green, olive green, or dark green, 15–28 mm, pulp white. 2n = 22.


Phenology: Flowering early May-late Jun; fruiting 1 1/2-2 1/2 months after flowering.
Habitat: Chihuahuan Desert, desert scrub, grasslands, oak-juniper woodlands
Elevation: 0-1500 m

Distribution

V4 329-distribution-map.gif

Colo., Kans., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Mexico (Coahuila), Mexico (Nuevo León), Mexico (Tamaulipas)

Discussion

Of conservation concern.

The entire Echinocereus reichenbachii species group (E. reichenbachii, E. chisosensis, E. rigidissimus, E. pseudopectinatus, and an indefinite number of Mexican species) has unusually thin, bristlelike spines clothing the flowers and fruits as well as conspicuous, cobwebby tomentum of unusually long areolar hairs. The persistent, dry, white features of the flower tube are an essential distinction contrasting with the otherwise similar E. pectinatus species group (E. pectinatus, E. dasyacanthus, and possibly E. bonkerae), regardless of the spectacular, colorful floral displays.

The taxonomic and geographic boundaries among the segregate species or numerous proposed infraspecific taxa of Echinocereus reichenbachii remain nebulous and controversial. In no place do pure populations exist sympatrically, and all taxa appear completely interfertile. Typical E. reichenbachii is endemic to Mexico, near Saltillo, Coahuila. The common plants of E. reichenbachii in Texas, usually lacking central spines, are weakly distinguished from typical E. reichenbachii and are the basis for E. reichenbachii subsp. caespitosus. Oklahoma populations with unusually long bristlelike spines were named E. baileyi Rose [E. reichenbachii subsp. baileyi]. They intergrade, however, with the nearby, short-spined populations of E. reichenbachii. Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albispinus pertains to intermediates between E. baileyi and E. reichenbachii subsp. caespitosus. The flowers of E. reichenbachii var. fitchii are among the largest in the species, and their exact color pattern may prove taxonomically significant. Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albertii is somewhat morphologically and geographically intermediate between var. caespitosus and var. fitchii, but with flowers more closely resembling var. fitchii; it is sometimes considered a synonym of var. fitchii or a variety of E. fitchii Britton & Rose. The name “Echinocereus melanocentrus” appears frequently in cactus literature but has not been validly published.

Echinocereus reichenbachii is in the Center for Plant Conservation’s Collection of Endangered Plants.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"thin" is not a number.

cushionlike +
circular to linear +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
hourglass--shaped +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
Allan D. Zimmerman +  and Bruce D. Parfitt +
(Walpers) Haage ex Britton & Rose +
hardened +
Echinocactus reichenbachii +
triangular +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br />) +
curved +  and straight +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
Lace hedgehog cactus +
mucilaginous +
undulate +
Colo. +, Kans. +, N.Mex. +, Okla. +, Tex. +, Mexico (Coahuila) +, Mexico (Nuevo León) +  and Mexico (Tamaulipas) +
0-1500 m +
not separating +
8 cm80 mm <br />0.08 m <br /> (12 cm120 mm <br />0.12 m <br />) +
10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br /> (12 cm120 mm <br />0.12 m <br />) +
4.5 cm45 mm <br />0.045 m <br /> (8 cm80 mm <br />0.08 m <br />) +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
2.6 cm26 mm <br />0.026 m <br /> (5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br />) +
2.2 cm22 mm <br />0.022 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 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 />) +
5cm;10cm +
dark green;olive green;dark green;olive green;green +
dehiscent +  and indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
spheric +  and narrowly obovoid +
1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br /> (2.8 cm28 mm <br />0.028 m <br />) +
Chihuahuan Desert, desert scrub, grasslands, oak-juniper woodlands +
2.3 cm23 mm <br />0.023 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 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 +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
smooth +  and tuberculate +
deciduous +  and persistent +
Flowering early May-late Jun +  and fruiting 1 1/2-2 1/2 months after flowering. +
mucilaginous +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
undulate +
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 +
Conservation concern +
nearly +, arranged +  and radial +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 m <br /> (2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br />) +
white +  and tan dull pink dark-brown or purplish black +
straight +  and slightly curved +
deciduous +
3mm +  and 150mm +
12 (?) +  and 36 (?) +
roughened +  and smooth +
acicular +  and subulate +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 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 +
2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
yellow-green +  and dark green +
7.5cm;30cm +
cylindric +  and short +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (40 cm400 mm <br />0.4 m <br />) +
succulent +
4cm;10cm +
yellowish green +  and green +
tuberculate +
Echinocactus reichenbachii var. albispinus +, Echinocactus reichenbachii subsp. baileyi +, Echinocactus reichenbachii subsp. caespitosus +  and Echinocactus reichenbachii subsp. fitchii +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Echinocereus reichenbachii +
Echinocereus +
species +
dull +  and glossy +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br />) +
12-branched +  and unbranched +
epiphytic;epiphytic;epiphytic +
decumbent +, pendent +, sprawling +, ascending +  and erect +
barrel-shaped +  and spheric +