Hedgehod Cactus

Nearly 50 species of hedgehog cactus grow in the southwestern United State and northern Mexico, with some growing in fairly high elevations in Colorado and Utah, where they are subject to freezing temperatures. All have cylindrical, ribbed bodies in clumps; showy red, yellow, purple, white flowers with many rows of petals; and fleshy fruit, edible in some species. Although hardy to cold in most zones they are most often used in desert landscaping gardens.

In New Mexico the E. triglochidiatus, Claret Cup, is native. Dense mounds up to 16" tall can have stems 5" thick. Flowers are 3-1/2 inches wide, orange to red, the inch long fruit pink to red.

The hedgehog cactus is a perennial that takes much sun. It does wonderfully well in an arid environment. Being a cactus, the spines do "bite" so when cleaning around the cactus use a small rake with a long handle.

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