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Lace Cactus

by Valerie (August 8, 2000)
lace cactus

lace cactus bloomingAlthough the prickly pear cactus is the most common type around this area, one other cactus is also very common. The lace cactus (Echinocereus pectinatus) is a small plant, almost always occurring in colonies. It grows to only about six inches, and it does that very slowly. This species is rather widespread and quite variable, with different forms living in Arizona and Mexico. On some types, the spines are more closely set, or more erect, or even different shades. To the west of us, the flowers of this cactus are yellow with green centers, and there is a form that has pink blossoms with white centers. However, the color of the blossoms here is a rich magenta. The cactuses bloom in the early part of the of lace cactus blossom

The lace cactus is very cold-hardy, since we get freezes almost every winter, but they do not like moisture or shade, and will sometimes die when other plants grow up too much around them.

The different forms of this cactus have varying names, including hedgehog cactus, rainbow cactus, purple cactus and comb cactus. This last name comes from the arrangement of the spines from each areole, which looks like two combs. The name "lace cactus" also refers to the look of the spines.

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