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Vascular Plants of California
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Echinocereus engelmannii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CactaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree, generally fleshy. Stem: cylindric to spheric, or flat; surface smooth, tubercled, or ribbed (grooved); nodal areoles bearing flowers. Leaf: generally 0 or early-deciduous, flat to +- cylindric. Spines: areoles generally with central, radial spines, occasionally with glochids. Flower: generally 1 per areole, bisexual [unisexual], sessile, radial [bilateral]; perianth parts generally many [5], scale-like to petal-like; stamens many; ovary inferior [superior], style 1, stigma lobes generally several [many]. Fruit: dry to fleshy or juicy, indehiscent to variously dehiscent, spiny, scaly, or naked; tubercled or smooth. Seed: generally many, occasionally 0--few.
Genera In Family: +- 125 genera, +- 1800 species: America (especially deserts), Africa; many cultivated, some edible. Note: Spines smaller, fewer (0) in shade forms; yellow spines blacken in age. Introduced species increasingly escape cultivation. Hybridization common in some genera. Taxa of Escobaria in TJM (1993) moved to Coryphantha.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce D. Parfitt, Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: EchinocereusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Generally erect to ascending, [sprawling, pendent, or decumbent], branched or not, branches generally few--500, occasionally in dense mounds. Stem: [2]5--60[200] cm, (1)4--15 cm diam, spheric to long-cylindric, soft, not regularly segmented; ribs prominent, 4--13[26], tubercles +- 0 along rib-crests. Spines: [0]4--55 per areole, < 2 mm diam, needle- to dagger-like, glabrous to puberulent, straight, curved, or curly; central spines (0)1--6(9). Flower: lateral, near distal margin of spine cluster; perianth purple to lavender, orange, or red [yellow or green]; ovary glabrous, spiny, scales minute. Fruit: spheric to obovoid, indehiscent or splitting laterally, densely spiny, spine clusters deciduous. Seed: 0.8--2 mm, obovoid to +- spheric, dull, wrinkled or tubercled, generally black.
Species In Genus: 49 species: southwestern United States, Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: hedgehog + Cereus)
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt
Reference: Taylor 1985 The Genus Echinocereus. Timber Press
Echinocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lem.
Habit: Clump-forming or loose, open mounds generally < 0.7 m diam. Stem: < 60, 5--45(70) cm, 4--9 cm diam, cylindric; ribs 10--13; tubercles +- 0. Spines: (8)15--20 per areole, color and shape variable; central spines 2--7, straight to twisted. Flower: short-funnel- to bell-shaped. Fruit: 20--30 mm, spines glabrous. Chromosomes: 2n=44.
Ecology: Dry habitats; Elevation: < 2400 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnBr, PR, W&I, D; Distribution Outside California: to Utah, Arizona, Mexico. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: Highly variable, occasionally unclearly divided into varieties, needs study.
Synonyms: Echinocereus munzii (Parish) L.D. Benson; Echinocereus engelmannii var. munzii (Parish) Pierce & Fosberg
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce D. Parfitt
Reference: Taylor 1985 The Genus Echinocereus. Timber Press
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Botanical illustration including Echinocereus engelmannii

botanical illustration including Echinocereus engelmannii


Citation for this treatment: Bruce D. Parfitt 2012, Echinocereus engelmannii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 19, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 19, 2019.

Echinocereus engelmannii
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Echinocereus engelmannii
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Echinocereus engelmannii
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© 2017 California Academy of Sciences
Echinocereus engelmannii
click for enlargement
© 2009 California Academy of Sciences
Echinocereus engelmannii
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Echinocereus engelmannii
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© 2010 Neal Kramer

More photos of Echinocereus engelmannii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Echinocereus engelmannii:
SnBr, PR, W&I, D;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.