Echinocereus rigidissimus – Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus

Echinocereus rigidissimus - Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus, Rainbow Cactus (flowers)

Echinocereus rigidissimus - Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus, Rainbow Cactus (spines)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Echinocereus rigidissimus

Common Names: Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus, Rainbow Cactus

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub, Cactus

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Upland. It grows on dry, sunny, rocky slopes and in grassy areas.

Flower Color: Pink to magenta

Flowering Season: Summer

Height: To 8 inches (20 cm) tall

Description: The flowers are up to 3 inches (8 cm) wide and have a band of yellowish white at the base of the pink tepals. The stems are spiny, usually solitary, and green in color, but usually almost completely obscured by the dense spines. The spines are comblike, all radial (no projecting spines), and are held flat to the stems in rainbow-like alternating bands of pink and white.

The similar Rainbow Cactus (Echinocereus pectinatus) has a band of green below the white band at the base of the flower tepals.

Special Characteristics

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus: Echinocereus Engelm. – hedgehog cactus
Species: Echinocereus rigidissimus (Engelm.) hort ex F. Haage – rainbow hedgehog cactus

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map