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Mexican Claret-Cup, California Hedgehog, Cream-flowered Hedgehog

Echinocereus coccineus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinocereus (ek-in-oh-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: coccineus (kok-SIN-ee-us) (Info)
Synonym:Echinocereus aggregatus
Synonym:Echinocereus coccineus subsp. coccineus
Synonym:Echinocereus roemeri
Synonym:Echinocereus krausei
Synonym:Echinocereus kunzei


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 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:



Bloom Time:

Mid Spring


Unknown - Tell us

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:

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:

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Mesilla Park, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Lawton, Oklahoma

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 17, 2013, bmcdanel from Lawton, OK wrote:

This cactus blooms with bright red flowers in my garden in April or May depending on how warm the spring is. Regrettably, the very attractive flowers only last a day or two. It is very hardy, surviving absolutely brutal Oklahoma winters and summers much hotter than its native enviroment. I got mine in Las Cruces, New Mexico five years ago. It has slowly increased to a cluster of six stalks and continues to grow. According to some references, it produces very small amounts of digitalis, a heart medicine.


On Mar 22, 2009, cactuspatch from Alamogordo, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:

Many of these grow native in my area. There are large clumps behind the Space Museum on Scenic Drive, if you get to Alamogordo in the Spring. I love the blooms, some of mine are light pink, others dark fushia colored.


On Jun 8, 2007, oldmudhouse from Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:

A number of these plants are native to my yard, located in full sun as well as under the protective shade of native Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata.) Some are difficult to see until the bright orange-red blooms in Spring make them impossible to miss! The bloom period of large plants can extend over a period of weeks, with each bloom remaining open for several days and nights. Too much rain can cause vertical splits in the stems; if this occurs, the splits can heal but the scars are permanent. My healthiest plants are those in elevated locations with excellent drainage. Wonderful additions to any native landscape!


On May 3, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The books that I have lists the flower color as orange-red.
I haven't found a separate variety epithet for the pinkish colored version of E. coccineus, if one exists at all, but apparently there is a rare form/variety that has pink flowers.

This species is easily and often confused with Echinocereus triglochidiatus and is frequently found in nature to hybridize with it.
Other popular common names are 'Golden Rainbow Hedgehog'& 'White-spined Claret-cup Cactus'.
This species is used medicinally as a heart stimulant.
The 'coccineus' subspecies has stems that are 1 to 2 inches thick with 8 to 11 ribs. The spines nondifferentiatable between centrals & radials. There are 0 to 4 central spines and 5 to 20 radial spines per areole. The red-orange flower i... read more