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Visionary Cactus Guide


An easy to grow, clump forming, summer blooming genus that is fairly small in stature. There are about 50 different species known to exist. Most species of these Cacti are well protected from predators with their numerous large, sharp spines. The name of this Genus is derived from the Greek "echinos" for porcupine.

E. blanckii -

Native from Northern Mexico to the Southwestern U.S..

Contains: 3-4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine (.007%).

E. chloranthus -

Native to Southern New Mexico and Western texas.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.

E. cinerascens -

Native to Central Mexico.

Contains: N-methyl-3-4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine, N,N-dimethyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine.

E. davisii -

Also classified as Echinocereus viridiflorus v. davisii.

Native to South of Marathon Texas.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.

E. enneacanthus -

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.

E. merkeri -

Contains: candicine, N-methyl-3-4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine, salsoline, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-phenethylamine, N,N-dimethyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine.

E. russanthus -

Native to Chihuahua, Mexico, North to Western Texas. Also classified as Echinocereus chloranthus v. russanthus.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.

E. salm-dyckianus ( Scheer ) -

( Pitallito ) A small cactus with white spines and 10 cm long red flowers. Plant branches from the base with a cluster of stems to 20 cm long. 7 - 9 slightly tuberculate bibs with pale yellow areoles. Revered by the Huichols of Mexico as one of the false Peyotes. The Tarahumara consider it to produce high mental qualities, and sing to it while it is being collected. Native to the Sonora and Southwest Chihuaha deserts and the Durango State of Mexico. Can also be classified as Echinocereus scheeri. Grows wild in the more temperate regions of the Mediterranean.

Propagate by basal shoots. Has been cultivated in Europe for a long time, exact date of introduction is unknown.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.

E. triglochdiatus -

( Claret Cup Cactus ) From more arid regions but similar to Pitallito. Revered as a false Peyote by the Tarahumara. A hardy cluster mound forming species, growing to 60 cm. Has brilliant red cup shaped flowers and edible strawberry flavored fruit, much prized as a delicacy. There are reportedly several varieties, most of which are endangered in the wild. The variety arizonicus has been declared endangered in the U.S.A. in 1976. Widely distributed from Northern Chihuahua in Mexico to New Mexico, Northeast Arizona, Southern Colorado and Western Texas.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids. Plants rumored to contain 5-Meo-DMT.

E. viridiflorus ( Englemann ) -

Native to a large area of the U.S. from South dakota to Southeast Wyoming and into Texas. Was originaly classified as a Cereus in 1856. Plants have a cylindrical stem growing to 30 cm high and 6 cm in diameter. Has 13 to 18 ribs, almost covered in viscious spines. Each areole has 12 to 20 spines which grow to 2.5 cm long and are cream colored with a red tip. The slender, brownish-green flowers remain almost closed, even during peak bloom.

Propagate by seed.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.