Chisos Mountains Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus chisoensis var. chisoensis)

Photograph of the Chisos Mountains Hedgehog Cactus

TPWD ©

Other Names
Chisos Pitaya, Chisos Hedgehog Cactus, Chisos Hedgehog
Texas Status
Threatened
U.S. Status
Threatened, Listed 9/30/1988
Description
This cactus is cylindrical, with mostly single stems up to 8 inches tall. It produces large, bright pink flowers in the spring and summer.
Life History
The Chisos Mountains hedgehog cactus is usually found in the sparse shade of creosote bushes and other shrubs of the Chihuahuan Desert. Such shrubs are referred to as nurse plants. What nurse plants offer to a species such as the Chisos Mountain hedgehog cactus is a slightly moister environment for seed germination and seedling establishment. Without nurse plants, there would be even fewer Chisos Mountain hedgehog cacti. It blooms from March - July, with fruit maturing from May - August. Although this species is somewhat inconspicuous when not in bloom, the large, bright pink flowers attract not only insects, but cactus collectors as well.
Habitat
Low elevation desert grasslands or sparsely vegetated shrublands on gravelly flats and terraces within the Chihuahuan Desert provide habitat for the Chisos Mountains hedgehog cactus.
Distribution
This species is found in Brewster County. All known populations are located within Big Bend National Park.

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