Scientific: Echinocereus coccineus (Synonyms: Cereus coccineus, Cereus conoideus, Echinocereus polyacanthus, Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. melanacanthus)
Common: scarlet hedgehog cactus
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico (Sonora, Coahuila, Chihuahua)

Pronounciation: E-ki-no-SEER-e-us co-co-NEE-us

Hardiness zones
USDA 8 (with cold protection), 9-11 (in semi arid and arid regions only)

Landscape Use: Accent cactus for formal desert gardens, container culture.

Form & Character: Diminuative, compact, dangerous, yet delicate.

Growth Habit: Perennial succulent subshrub, slow growing, clumping and spreading commonly into 20 to 100 loosely aggregated lower elevation) or tightly packed (higher elevation) rounded clumps.

Foliage/texture: Stems medium to dark green stem, up to 16 inches in length and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Stems with 8 to 11 ribs; aeroles with spines mostly undifferentiated between radials and centrals; 0 to 4 centrals, up to 3 inches long; 5 to 20 radials; coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Simply amazing large, unisexual orange flowers to 3 inches wide. Bright green stigma stands out against the scarlet petals. Fruits are greenish or yellowish to pinkish, bright red or brownish tinged, 1 to 2 inches less in length.

Seasonal color: Spring to early summer flowers, typically late April to early May in Phoenix.

Temperature: Heat loving, cold hardy to 15oF.

Light: Full sun

Soil: Needs a porous and well-drained soil.

Watering: Generally little to no supplemental water is necessary.

Pruning: None

Propagation: Division of clumps, stem sections hardened off and directly placed into soil.

Disease and pests: Root rot in poorly drained soil.

Additional comments: This is an outstanding small cactus for formal desert gardens. Surprisingly for a north American hedgehog cactus, there are many recognized varieties. The USDA NRCS lists scarlet hedgehog cactus as salvage restricted. Echinocereus triglochidiatus is very similar but usually a bit larger.