Echinocereus Species, Calico Cactus, Dagger-Spine Hedgehog, Engelmann's Hedgehog, Strawberry Cactus

Echinocereus engelmannii

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinocereus (ek-in-oh-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: engelmannii (en-gel-MAH-nee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Echinocereus engelmannii var. engelmannii
Synonym:Cereus engelmannii
Synonym:Echinocereus engelmannii subsp. engelmannii


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


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

Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Fuchsia (red-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

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 is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Ajo, Arizona

Cave Creek, Arizona

Maricopa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Salome, Arizona

Tonto Basin, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Wellton, Arizona

Bostonia, California

Canoga Park, California

Hesperia, California

Spring Valley, California

Las Vegas, Nevada

High Rolls Mountain Park, New Mexico

La Luz, New Mexico

Lawton, Oklahoma

South Jordan, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 18, 2011, bmcdanel from Lawton, OK wrote:

Every plant in my desert garden is an experiment. The Oklahoma winter determines the success of a given plant. This one survived one night of subzero temperatures and a prolonged period of subfreezing weather. So, it is fairly hardy.


On Oct 13, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Other common names are 'Indian Strawberry Cactus', 'Munz's Hedgehog', 'Needle-spine Hedgehog', 'Purple-spined Hedgehog' & 'Varied-spine Hedgehog'.
There have been 9 recognized varieties having a wide variance of color schemes of the spines. but 'var. nicholii' was reclassified as a separate species. The reamaining 8 varieties are still undergoing scrutiny as to determine taxonomic status.
The varieties are: acicularis, armatus, chrysocentrus, engelmannii, howei, munzii, purpureus & variegatus.

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