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Echinocereus russanthus – Varied Hedgehog

Photograph and general description of the cactus Echinocereus russanthus . Tips Basic for cultivation in the garden or collection.

Characteristics of the cactusEchinocereus russanthus

Echinocereus russanthus

Echinocereus russanthus is a small columnar cactus very popular in collections around the world for the arrangement of its thorns and flowering. It is a species native of northern Mexico , but its cultivation has spread to all over the world as an ornamental plant. It is a kind of growth quite slow and rarely amacolla . It is grown mainly in small pots because it does not develop a large size.

View of the stem of a young Echinocereus russanthus


This species develops a solitary , cylindrical and erect stem of +/- 20 cm in height (a height that it achieves over the years) and +/- 5 cm in diameter . Occasionally, it can generate shoots in the base, but only in adult plants or with damaged apex. The stem has a dark green coloration and is divided into +/- 12 well- defined and tuberculated ribs . In the margin of the ribs there are numerous areolas very conspicuous and rounded . Each areola develops +/- 5 central spinesapproximately 2.5 cm long and with a reddish brown coloration and more than 10 radial thorns approximately 1 cm long . The thorns are arranged in almost allpossible directions by crossing one another.

Flowers and fruits

Echinocereus russanthus flower

Flowers originate from the side areolasstem and have a small size ( +/- 2 cm diameter ) with the segments of the corolla of reddish with more violet bands . The stigma of green and multi-lobedflowers ; the numerous stamens with yellow- green anthers . The globose fruitwith an initial greenish coloration that changes to violaceous when it ripens.

Tips for the cultivation of the cactus Echinocereus russanthus

Echinocereus russanthus is a cactus very easy to maintain in the collection if the following tips are followed:


Of utmost importance always cultivate in full sun for a better development and flowering. The cultivation in the shade willcause the total cessation of growth and the absence of flowers .


It is a plant that is quite tolerant of extreme temperatures and can endure short periods below 0ºC. The ideal range for the species is between 12 ° C-28 ° C .


It requires growing on a very loose substrate that allows rapid drainage of water . Its roots are susceptible to excess moisture causing rot. Preferably use a substrate with 70% mineral material.

Watering frequency:

Watering preferably when the stem is slightly wrinkled due to lack of water. This method prevents decay due to excess water. The irrigation preferably immersion or at the height of the substrate to prevent water to be retained between the spines and allow proliferation of pathogenic fungi.

Plagues and diseases:

Quite resistant to common garden pests, although it may suffer infestations of mealybugs and mites . The fungi usually appear excess moisture or when an infected substrate is used.


It is multiplied mainly by seeds since it rarely develops basal shoots. The seeds germinate quite fast and the seedlings are resistant.

Care of cactus seedling after germination

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