Hedgehog cactus, (genus Echinocereus ), the genus of about 60 species of cacti (family Cactaceae ), native to central Mexico in the western United States. The common name hedgehog refers to the prickly fruit that is edible in many species.
Hedgehog cacti are usually cylindrical and multi-stemmed, and often soft-bodied. The spine-bearing tubercles are connected to each other, forming ribs. The large flowers generally have green stigma lobes and are usually tinged with red and yellow.
The smallest porcupine cactus ( Echinocereus viridiflorus ), with small fragrant green to brown flowers, is the northernmost group, growing from Mexico to Wyoming and South Dakota . ThatThe red wine goblet ( E. triglochidiatus ) ranges from north of Mexico City to northern Utah and southern Colorado.
Common: Engelmann’s hedgehog cactus, strawberry hedgehog cactus
Origin: Sonoran and Mojave deserts of Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Sonora, and Baja California at elevations ranging from sea level to 8000 feet.
Size: 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide, clumps
Flowers: Showy, deep red-purplish, rows of petals
Fruit: Fleshy, edible
Stems/Trunks: Cylindrical, ribbed with thorns
Range/Origin: SW USA, N. Mexico
Hardiness: Sunset Zones; 2,3,7,10 -14
What Animals Eat Hedgehog Cactus?
The Hedgehog cactus has a wide range of natural habitats with variations in climate from Mexico to the state of California. It can be found growing among rocks, in open spaces, and in grasslands.
Among birds, the fruit of the hedgehog cactus is eaten by hawks and roadrunners. Ground squirrels and other rodents such as gophers and mice also consume the fruit. Hedgehog cacti also offer protection against predators to some insects including ants and wasps which they can attract with their smell and nectar-secreting glands on the plant’s stems.
How Does the Hedgehog Cactus Survive in the Desert?
The hedgehog cactus is a very strange-looking plant. It has an array of thick green leaves that are covered in tiny white and yellow spines, as well as a large stem with a waxy and bumpy texture. The stem, leaves, and spines all provide protection for this desert plant.
Hedgehog cacti are one of the most unique plants on earth. They grow in dry, rocky terrain that can reach temperatures up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit—the warmest place in the world for plants that grow without any water at all. This is quite an impressive feat for something that seems so delicate to human eyes. Their main form of protection are the sharp spines that cover the entirety of the plant and also provide the cactus with shade from the desert sun’s heat. In addition to the spines, the hedgehog cactus is coated in a waxy substance that reduces the plant’s water loss.
The spines on a hedgehog cactus are used as a means of protection against predators such as birds and rodents, who cannot get through such a prickly barrier to get at the delicious fruit or flowers inside.
Is Hedgehog Cactus Edible?
Hedgehog cacti are used as food by desert wildlife including coyotes, rabbits, mice, and quail. The fruit is sometimes eaten by humans as a source of water and vitamins during periods of drought. The fruit is edible if cooked but is also slightly toxic if consumed raw.”
Is Hedgehog Cactus Hallucinogenic?
Hedgehog cactus has been utilized for centuries by native peoples for both its medicinal and hallucinogenic effects. After ingestion of these small fruits, the primary active chemical, mescaline, produces euphoric states that may last up to six hours.
However, unlike other psychoactive plants (such as peyote or magic mushrooms), no adverse reactions have ever been reported.
Although there are more than 25 species of Echinocereus, only four of them contain mescaline in their fruit: Echinocereus pentalophorus (San Pedro), Desert hedgehog cactus, Peruvian torch cactus, and peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). Other species that are closely related to these four contain only trace amounts of mescaline or none at all.
How Do You Take Care of a Hedgehog Cactus?
These plants can take full sun and will thrive in it provided they get enough water. Six to eight hours of sunlight daily is ideal. During the winter months, give the plants a bright, cool, and frost-free home. Echinocereus is generally good at tolerating colder temperatures until about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long Do Hedgehog Cactus Flowers Last?
They grow straight, twisted, or curved in pairs of 8-20 in each areole. During their blooming period, in spring, Hedgehog cacti exhibit flowers that last for about five days. Usually, they are closing at night and reopen when the sun rises again.
The illusive crimson to cherry-colored blooms of the “hedgehog,” which grow on rocky hillsides and flat lands, usually in lithosol areas.Hedgehog Cacti in Bloom
Where Does the Hedgehog Cactus Grow?
Hedgehog Cacti grow mostly in well-drained deserts, grass, chaparral, mountain ranges, and also rocky, sandy, or gravelly hillsides. To offer growing conditions that are similar to their natural habitat, it’s best to plant them in suitable potting mixes that have excellent drainage and aeration.
How Do I Get My Hedgehog Cactus to Bloom?
To ensure flowering, make certain that plants receive full sun (at least 6-8 hours each day). Plant the cactus in well-draining soil, and water only when necessary. Due to their succulent nature, cacti are excellent options for low-maintenance gardens or areas prone to periods of drought.
How Often Does the Crismon Hedgehog Cactus Bloom?
Hedgehog cactus come in a wide variety of varieties. The Crimson Hedgehog Cactus is a little barrel-shaped cactus that forms clusters of one to one hundred stems. The stems are cylinder-shaped, up to one foot long, and one to two and a half inches thick. On the stem, there are around 9 or 10 ribs.
The stems of this cactus contain chlorophyll despite having no leaves.
Compared to other hedgehog cacti, this one has shorter stems that are clustered closer together.
The flowers have many petals that make the shape of a cup, and they are a stunning deep red color. The crimson fruits are edible. The flowers are the first to blossom in the desert and they bloom from April through June. They bloom for roughly 3 to 5 days, staying open at night, unlike other cacti. There is only one red-flowered hedgehog species. Additionally, they have purple or pink anthers.
What Kind of Fruit Does a Hedgehog Cactus Have?
The fruit is roughly an inch long and spherical to ovoid in shape. It features a succulent white pulp that is tainted by the skin’s reddish-orange hue. When the fruit reaches maturity, the fruit’s deciduous spines fall off. Due to the strawberry flavor of its fruit, hedgehog cacti are also known as strawberry hedgehog cacti. The fruit is eaten by both rats and birds.
How Is the Crimson Hedgehog Cactus Adapted to the Desert?
Crimson Hedgehog Cactus favors the desert because of the extreme heat, but they also can survive in the extreme cold. It is a barrel-shaped cactus that has cylindrical stems, each with nine to ten ribs. Native Americans love this cactus because they collect the stems, and burn the spines,…
What Plants Are There in Hot Deserts?
Various desert plants
- Prickly Pear Pancakes. An instantly recognizable species of cactus, the Pancake Prickly Pear is commonly found in areas around the US-Mexico border.
- barrel cactus.
- Saguaro cactus.
- Lace or hedgehog cactus.
- organ pipe cactus.
- Creosote Bush.
- Desert Ironwood.
How do animals survive in the desert? Desert. Animals survive in deserts by living underground or resting in burrows during the heat of the day. Some creatures get the moisture they need from their food, so they don’t need to drink much water, if at all. Others live on the edges of deserts, where there is more plant life and shelter.
How Do Desert Animals Get Their Water?
Where do desert animals get their water from? Ever since water is so scarce, most desert animals get their water from the food they eat: succulents, seeds, or the blood and body tissues of their prey. These animals stay indoors, they burrow on hot days and emerge at night to feed.
Which Desert Kills the Most Animals?
Below are ten of the most dangerous animals found in the desert.
- Saw Scaled Viper. Found in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, these snakes are among the deadliest in the world.
- Gila monster.
- Wild dogs.
- Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.
- killer bees.
How Do Animals Survive in the Desert?
Deserts are very hot and full of sand and dirt. There is nothing to eat, no plants or animals. But, there are still some animals that live in the desert. Most animals survive in deserts by living underground or resting in burrows during the heat of the day. Some creatures get the moisture they need from their food, so they don’t need to drink much water, if at all.
Other animals live on the edges of deserts, where there is more plant life and shelter from sun and rain. Some of these animals live in rock caves which is even cooler than outside. Desert animals include lizards, scorpions, and snakes like the sidewinder rattlesnake who have adapted to living in dry conditions.
What Is a Desert Food Chain?
A food chain is one way to show how living organisms get their energy from one another. In the desert, producers like cacti, shrubs, and trees use sunlight to create their own food. Plant producers are then consumed by consumers such as insects and mice, which are then eaten by larger animals.