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Edward F. Anderson (except Opuntia)

Perennial, shrub, tree, generally fleshy
Stem cylindric, spheric, or flat; surface smooth, tubercled, or ribbed (fluted); nodal areoles bear flowers, generally bear spines from center ("central spines") and margin ("radial spines") (Opuntia areoles bear small, barbed, deciduous bristles sometimes called glochids, generally also bear spines)
Leaf generally 0
Flower generally solitary, bisexual, sessile, ± radial; perianth parts generally many, grading from scale-like to petal-like; stamens many; ovary appearing inferior, ± submerged in stem, so generally with areoles on surface, style 1, stigma lobes generally many
Fruit generally fleshy, generally indehiscent, spiny, scaly, or smooth
Seeds many
Genera in family: 93 genera, ± 2000 species: especially Am deserts; many cultivated
Etymology: (Greek: thorny plant)
Reference: [Benson 1982 Cacti of US & Can; Hunt & Taylor eds 1990 Bradleya 8:85–107]



Stems 1–many, often densely clumped, each < 1 m, 2–10 cm diam, cylindric; ribs 5–13, prominent; tubercles ± indistinct; spines straight or curved
Flowers on old growth, often near upper margin of spine-bearing areoles; ovary spiny
Fruit spheric to ovoid, glabrous; spines deciduous
Seed ovoid to ± spheric, tubercled, generally black
Species in genus: 47 species: sw US, Mex
Etymology: (Greek: hedgehog candle)
Reference: [Taylor 1985 Genus Echinocereus]


E. engelmannii (Engelm.) Lem.

Plant branched, forming clumps or mounds < 1 m diam
Stems < 60, ± erect, 5–60 cm, 4–9 cm diam, cylindric, green; ribs 10–13; tubercles indistinct; areole wool present in first year only; spines variable in color and shape, always present, glabrous; central spines 2–7, < 8 cm, spreading, straight to twisted; radial spines 6–14, 2–20 cm
Flower 5–7.5 cm diam, short-funnel-shaped; perianth purplish to magenta or lavender, inner parts generally acuminate or bristle-tipped (sometimes round); anthers yellow
Fruit fleshy, 20–30 mm, spheric, red, edible; spine clusters deciduous
Chromosomes: 2n=44
Ecology: Many dry habitats
Elevation: < 2400 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges, White and Inyo Mountains, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Arizona, Mexico
Flowering time: May–Jun
Synonyms: E. munzii (Parish) L.D. Benson
Highly variable; sometimes divided into vars., but not satisfactorily. More study needed
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY: 2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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