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Lady Finger Cactus

Echinocereus pentalophus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinocereus (ek-in-oh-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: pentalophus (pen-ta-LOH-fus) (Info)
Synonym:Cereus pentalophus
Synonym:Cereus pentalophus var. leptacanthus
Synonym:Echinocereus leptacanthus
Synonym:Echinocereus pentalophus subsp. pentalophus
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


under 6 in. (15 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


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

Bloom Color:


Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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:

Chandler, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Clovis, California

Los Angeles, California

Redding, California

San Marino, California

Lutz, Florida

Henderson, Nevada

Harlingen, Texas

Portland, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 1, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Echinocereus pentalophus is Endemic to Texas.


On May 11, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The 'pentalophus' subspecies has stem that can be either prostrate or erect having 3 to 5 ribs and 3 to 7 spines per areole. It is the most common. The stems are slightly thicker and lighter green than the subspecies 'procumbens'.
The 'leonensis' subspecies has erect stems with 6 to 8 ribs and up to 9 spines per areole and is thicker than the other subspecies..
The 'procumbens' subspecies has stems that are semi-prostrate and thinnest of all the subspecies; a deeper green in color; with 4 to 5 ribs and 5 to 7 spines per areole.
The flowers on all subspecies are Bright pink & magenta with white or yellow throats.


On Feb 9, 2005, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:

This cactus is from southern Texas to norhteastern Mexico. The five-ribbed stems are about one inch thick and tend to creep as they aged. Good for hanging baskets. Bright pink flowers are 4" across with yellow throat and anthers, and green stigma. Hardy to about 20F.