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Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus


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Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus

Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus  - Echinocereus triglochidiatus

by: Honza
Location/Trail:  Fireside Norterra
Date sighted:  4/02/2010
Season:  Spring
Echinocereus coccineus and Echinocereus triglochidiatus are look alike species, differing only in number of chromosomes. Both are also known under a single name, claret cup hedgehog. Together these two are the most widespread of hedgehogs, growing naturally at most elevations and in most life zones in the state. Range is from southeastern California to southwestern Texas and northern Colorado through most of Arizona. They form a loose cluster or dense mounds of 1 to 76 cylindrical or round, upright stems. One to several, deep red to orange-red, cup-shaped blooms appear in April through June. Depending on elevation each bloom stays open 24 hours a day for over a week. Unlike other hedgehogs, which are visited by bees, these two species are pollinated by hummingbirds. Attracted by flower color and copious nectar, hummingbirds fit their whole head into the flowers rather than just their bill.
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