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Friday, August 5, 2011

Echinocereus apachensis

Echinocereus apachensis is a hybrid 'species' growing in Superstition mountains just East of Phoenix AZ. It is a large clumping plant. Plants are very variable, as you would expect from hybrid swarm, and the parents must be Echinocereus engelmannii and Echinocereis fasciculatus, both common in the general area. 
Echinocereus apachensis is best known for it's forms with very long, longer than 4 inches, flexible spines. Not at all every plant look like that. Most wild plants have their central spines shorter, some as short as one inch, some have stiffer and thicker spines. Plants usually have several brown or straw-yellow central spines with other spines white, but some plants are pure white.
Flowers are also remarkable, deep purple-pink in color, relatively large. There is also variation in flower shape, some plants having more E.engelmannii-like bell-shaped flowers, but mostly they are more of a trumpet shape like the one in the picture.
In culture Echinocereus apachensis presents no difficulties. When grown from wild seeds it is a good idea to keep as many plants as possible until they mature, and then select the most remarkable plants to keep in the collection. 

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