Echinocereus polyacanthus Engelm.
Family: Cactaceae
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Anderson 2001, FNA 2003, ITIS, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: Mojave mound cactus Duration: Perennial Protected Status: Salvage restriced status in Arizona. General: Plants stout and solitary or branched, the stems are erect and often forming clumps of up to 400 stems, the stems 10-30 cm and cylindrical but tapering towards tips and bases with 9-13 ribs, these tuberculate, while the stems are bright to dark green. Spines: Central spines usually 1-7, stout and straight but often angled and brown to yellow-brown, ashy gray or darkened, expanded basally, but reaching 5 cm long. Flowers: Flowers arising near stem tips, they are tubular to funnelform and 3-14 cm long by 2-8 cm diameter, the tepals are scarlet or crimson, orange, or pink, with yellow to white centers. Fruits: Fruits ovoid, green with white pulp, indehiscent. Ecology: Found in mountains of Arizona from 3,000-6,000 ft (914-1829 m), flowers April-May. Notes: According to Anderson 2001, E. polyacanthus is variable and there is some debate about recognizing intraspecific taxa, although four sub-species are likely to be acceptable, with one that may be found in Arizona: E. polyacanthus ssp. polyacanthus, (has smaller flowers 3-7 cm), the others occur in Mexico with one, E. polyacanthus ssp. pacifus only found in Baja California with flowers to only 3 cm). Ethnobotany: No specific use of the species recorded, however the fruits of the genus were used as food. Etymology: Echinocereus is from the Greek echinos, hedgehog or spine and cereus, waxy, while polyacanthus means with many horns. Synonyms: Is this now Echinocereus triglochidiatus subsp. polyacanthus- Editor: LCrumbacher, 2010