This gorgeous Echinocereus fasciculatus, commonly known as the Robust Hedgehog, was featured at one of the gardens I visited during a recent Sedona, Arizona garden tour. (Notice the famous red soil of the area.)
The brilliant magenta flowers found on some of the Hedgehog species was just the color I had been looking for when I purchased and planted what I thought was a Strawberry Hedgehog (Echinocereus engelmannii) earlier this year.Hedgehog cacti are found in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. The clumping, columnar Hedgehog cactus is nondescript, except for the flowers. It can grow to 20 inches, but usually stays about 12 inches tall. The long lasting flowers come in spring, and depending on the species, has numerous colors from which to choose (or not choose, as I found out.) It takes no care unless we don't get rain in the summer months. In that case, an occasional watering is OK.
The fruit is edible, and makes a good meal for birds and desert rodents. I've never tried the fruit, which supposedly tastes like strawberries, but that's only because the birds always beat me to it.