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Boyce-Thompson Hedgehog
Echinocereus boyce-thompsonii

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinocereus (ek-in-oh-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: boyce-thompsonii
Synonym:Echinocereus fasciculatus var. boyce-thompsonii
Synonym:Echinocereus fasciculatus subsp. boyce-thompsonii
Synonym:Echinocereus fendleri var. boycethomsonii


Cactus and Succulents


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From woody stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ajo, Arizona

Black Canyon City, Arizona

Catalina, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 28, 2012, Peterthecactusguy from Black Canyon City, AZ wrote:

this species of Echinocereus is quite common around the BCC area. I have two of them. One was a rescue after severe flooding in the Black Canyon City area in 2010. Another was a cutting from a plant that was growing in the way of a path at a friend's house. The cutting survived being rooted twice. First time it was allowed to callous. Next time was when a javelina stepped on the plant and caused both stems to fall over. I cut them cleanly with a knife and allowed them to dry and callous over again. Roots formed after awhile and they went back in ground where one sprouted a bud that was promptly eaten by either a rabbit or a javelina. I need better fencing !

These have brilliant flowers that are a must for any gardener in Arizona. they like partial shade although I have seen ... read more


On Jan 31, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Some comparisons between three Hedgehog species that were at one time considered to be three varieties of Echinocereus fasciculatus.
E. fasciculatus has grayish central spines that are 1-3 inches long.
E. boyce-thompsonii has straw (yellow-tan) colored central spines that are 1-4 inches long.
E. bonkerae has shorter (half inch) central spines that are grayish-white.

I've seen this growing in the wild in Oracle Junction, AZ; Oro Valley, AZ, and on the 'El Camino Del Diablo Trail' (Devils' Highway) that runs between Ajo and Wellton in Arizona through the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.