Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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.
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.
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
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Echinocereus engelmanniibotanical illustration including Echinocereus engelmannii

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Citation for this treatment: Bruce D. Parfitt 2012, Echinocereus engelmannii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 14, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 14, 2024.

Echinocereus engelmannii
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©2022 California Academy of Sciences
Echinocereus engelmannii
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©2009 Keir Morse
Echinocereus engelmannii
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©2018 Neal Kramer
Echinocereus engelmannii
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©2013 Barry Rice
Echinocereus engelmannii
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©2013 Barry Rice

More photos of Echinocereus engelmannii
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Echinocereus engelmannii:
SnBr, PR, W&I, D
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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 occurrence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.

View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).