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Horse Crippler, Devil's Head, Candy Cactus, Devil's Pincushion, Manacaballo, Monco Caballo, Viznaga

Echinocactus texensis

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinocactus (ek-in-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: texensis (teck-SEN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Homalocephala texensis
Synonym:Echinocactus lindheimeri


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 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:

Pale Pink




White/Near White

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 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


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

, (2 reports)


Benson, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Bostonia, California

Mountain View Acres, California

Choudrant, Louisiana

Detroit, Michigan

Albuquerque, New Mexico

La Luz, New Mexico

Presto, Pennsylvania

Brownsville, Texas

Canyon Lake, Texas

Colorado City, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Kermit, Texas

Lipan, Texas

Lometa, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Medina, Texas

Mico, Texas

Portland, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (3 reports)

Santa Anna, Texas

Santo, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 10, 2014, floating_stump from Grafton, WI wrote:

Beautiful cactus. I love the big, curved spines. They're reddish when they're new, but turn dull grey over the winter.

I bought this plant from Cold Hardy Cactus in Colorado. The seller rated it to zone 6, but I took a chance here in zone 5. It survived to 0F with no trouble. Its first winter got a little below zero, and it suffered a little damage. Its second winter got near -10F and it died. So I consider the zone 6 rating to be accurate.

Though my cactus died, I rate it a positive because I grew it beyond its zone rating, and it's a great looking plant.


On Dec 26, 2012, bcturner from Colorado City, TX wrote:

Dang thing grows everywhere, I'm tired of digging it up so it won't hurt the livestock.It hurts bigtime to step on too.


On Jun 17, 2010, radrex2 from Presto, PA wrote:

I have this cacti and it is called Homocephala texensis. It made it thru our first winter here in the 'burbs of Pittsburgh, PA USDA zone 6. I did nothing to protect it - wet soil and 4 feet of piled snow from the driveway during February storms.


On Mar 13, 2010, atajr from Detroit, MI wrote:

I live in Detroit,MI (USDA z6a). This plant has survived its first winter here. Although this winter has been a slight bit milder than usual, with a few minimums of just 3 above zero, I believe the plant could've taken an even slightly lower minimum than the lows endured this year. The only protection provided this plant...and I provide a similar form of protection on all my hardy desert plants..was a clear, thin plastic Victorian cloche. This prevents winds and our usual "winter wet" (snow, ice, cold rains, etc.) from touching the plant. The cloche went on October 1st, and will stay on until late April. Today is March 13th, the worst of winter has past, and the plant looks great.


On Jun 13, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Flowers range from white thru light-pink to pink, with red throats. Another popular name for this plant is "Candy Cactus".