Monday, March 24, 2008

Claret Cup Hedgehog

The first time I saw a Claret Cup Hedgehog cactus in bloom was during a spring garden tour. The red flowers were unusual compared to other Hedgehog species, many of which have pink or purplish flowers. Since that tour, I looked for, and finally found, a suitable specimen, and here it is. Unlike many other cactus flowers, these stay open day and night, and last for three to five days. Red fruits follow the flowers.

The Claret Cup Hedgehog’s origin is the Southwest U.S. and Mexico. In Phoenix, it can be located in full sun, as long as it gets afternoon shade, and it will tolerate temperatures into the low 20s. There are about ten varieties of the Claret Cup Hedgehog, with differing spines and ribs. However, all varieties have the red cup-shaped flower.

The scientific name for Claret Cup Hedgehog is Echinocereus triglochidiatus. The word Echinos is of Greek origin, and means hedgehog. Cereus means a wax taper. The combination word for this genus of cacti is supposed to describe the cactus. I’m not sure what kind of hedgehog and candle those who named this genus were used to seeing. I don’t see any resemblance to either.

12 comments:

gizelle said...

You really love cactus flowers! I find it difficult to raise them...those bloom makes one forget that the cactus has thorns!

Lorian said...

Hi there...the flowers make this cactus stunning! I am surprised that it needs afternoon shade. The textures make the plants that grow in AZ so unique. It is definitely a change in scenery from what I am used to!

jodi said...

I'm with you on that, Aiyana, I don't see the resemblance but that's okay because the flowers are gorgeous.

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

Interesting name, hmmm, I wonder what kind of cactus they were smoking when they named it?
It is a beautiful plant.
Love the color.
Enjoy.

Teri C said...

What a gorgeous specimen!!!

guppyman said...

Very cool! I love some of the desert flowers... Not much into the plants the rest of the year though... This one is gorgeous!

Pudgeduck said...

My specimen has pink flowers- I will keep searching for the red, my favorite also. Mine is ready to bloom-can't wait!

WiseAcre said...

That catcus by any other name would be just as beautiful. I'm glad you stop by my place and remind me that you can't have what I have. It makes knowing I can't have everything in a better perspective.

Jon said...

The shape and striking color of the flowers really are like cups of that delicious wine for sure. Great photo! I also loved the shot of the sunrise and your Easter message. Jon on 3-25-08 at http://mississippigarden.blogspot.com

Ginni Dee said...

What glorious flowers! I love the color. And hedgehog is the perfect name for it, or so it appears!

Julie said...

I don't know...am I crazy...I think this plant looks like a candle with spiny hedgehog appearance!!!????? LOL
OK...I may be the only one to think it, but that seems to happen to me a lot in my life!!! Hee hee hee!!!

Julie said...

Oh...and on second look...the red flowers look like extremely hot flames coming from the top of the "candle"!!!