Lace Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii)
Cactus Family (Cactaceae)
Lace hedgehog cactus is a cylindrical cactus, reaching 8 in tall and 3 in wide. Some are single-stemmed, while others branch and form clumps of several stems. When young it is spherical before it grows more cylindrical with age. It has 10–20 narrow ribs. It has two sets of spines: outer ones (12-36) that are flattened against the stem and white, tan, dull pink, dark brown, or purplish black with dark purple tips and dark inner ones (0-7) that project outward. It has cobwebby hairs around the spines. The large flowers are silvery pink to magenta (white, crimson, green, or multicolored toward the base) with ragged edges and cream-colored to yellow centers. Pollinated by bees and wasps. Flowers in May to June. The spiny fruit is green with white pulp. Found in CO, KS, NM, OK, and TX in the US and Mexico. It occurs mainly on open rocky, well-drained sands and limestone in deserts, desert scrub, grasslands, and oak-juniper woodlands. Is cold-hardy and endures frost as long as it is kept dry. Has 4 subspecies. Also known as black lace cactus, lace cactus, Classen's cactus, Fitch's hedgehog, merry widow cactus, and purple candle cactus.
Listed as endangered federally and in TX for subspecies fitchii (formally ssp albertii).