The taxonomy of this genus is complicated due to fuzzy taxonomic boundaries, polytypic taxa, and differing interpretations by specialists. Most North American botanists recognize about 50 species, while the Echinocereus specialists in Germany recognize more than 70 species[
]. We are following the treatment of David Hunt, 2016 in CITES Cactaceae Checklist, Third Edition, ISBN 978-0-9933113-2-1.
Cereus engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.
Echinocereus llanuraensis (Rutow) W.Blum & D.Felix
Echinocereus nicholii llanuraensis Rutow
Pilocereus engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.) Lem.
Echinocereus chrysocentrus (Engelm. & J.M.Bigelow) Orcutt
Cereus munzii Parish
Echinocereus munzii (Parish) L.D.Benson
Echinocereus engelmannii is a spiny, evergreen, succulent shrubby plant. Many-branched from near the base, it forms somewhat open clumps or mounds of usually 3 - 60 cylindrical stems; the stems are around 5 - 60cm tall and 4 - 9cm in diameter, forming a clump that can be up to 100cm wide[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is commonly grown as an ornamental.
Echinocereus engelmannii is wide spread and abundant and does not have any major threats. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2017)[
Southwest N. America - Californa, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, northwest Mexico (Baja California, Sonora)
Gravelly, sandy, or rocky soils of hillsides, washes, and canyons in the desert, plains, montane forest, juniper-pinyon woodland, chaparral, grass, and Great Basin scrub; at elevations from near sea level to 2,400 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Echinocereus engelmannii is a plant of semi-arid regions in southwestern N. America, where it can be found at elevations up to 2,400 metres. It has proven cold tolerant down to -10°c in cultivation so long as the climate is not moist[
In cultivation, Cactus plants generally will not succeed in moist climates. They usually require a sunny position in a well-drained, circumneutral soil and to be kept more or less dry in the dormant season[
Fruit - raw. Delicious, it is juicy with a strawberry-like flavour[
]. The pulp is whitish, becoming infused with pink or red from the fruit skin[
]. The red fruits are around 25 - 45mm long[
Stems - cooked[
]. Eaten like potatoes[
Seed - surface sow on a finely sieved compost and place under a glass or transparent plastic cover in a temperature of 20°c.
Cuttings of detached branches. Leave the freshly taken cuttings in a warm, dry, airy position for the cut surface to callus, then place them in a sandy compost,