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Item ID: 36
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Echinocereus
Species: engelmannii
Common Name: Engelmann's Hedgehog, Strawberry Hedgehog
Habitat: Found from around 200 to 7,500 feet elevation, mainly in rocky desert areas.
Range: This plant is distributed from near San Diego, California through the Mojave Desert and Nevada to Maricopa, Pima and Cochise Counties in Arizona. It is also found in northern Baja and Sonora, Mexico.
Care: Many Echinocereus species are easily grown outside in garden locations here in Tucson. They may require very little attention but could be attacked by grubs from the common cactus beetle. Check for any signs of yellowing or non-growth. Sometimes the beetle larve can devastate a plant before it can be saved so be cautious.
Propagation: By seed or by separation of segments from a more mature plant.
Size: This is not an unusually large plant. Stem segment are commonly to around 18 inches in height and no more than 2 inches wide. Clustered plants may exceed 24 inches wide.
Shape: Clustering
Flowers: Flowering usually starts in May and flower colors can vary from a light pink to Magenta.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©2004

Description
This is a heavily spined plant with variable spine color. Most plants may have gray to nearly white spines with stems on clustered plants usually not tightly clustered. The fruits are very tasty and edible and have a distant history of use by native americans.

Author Comments
Engelmann's hedgehog is rarely found native in or around Tucson although it may rarely be seen. E. engelmannii has been grown and planted in many private gardens all around Tucson for many years thanks to the availability of finding the plant in garden centers.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=e.engelmannii

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Item ID: 37
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Opuntia
Species: microdasys
Common Name: Bunny Ears, Rabbit Ears, Cegador
Habitat: 
Range: Found in many areas of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico and extending further south into central Mexico.
Care: This plant is a survivor and can do well without a lot of extra care. It grows very well here in Tucson and is very popular because of the attractive appearance of the glochid color and overall shape of the entire plant. This Opuntia is not a favorite target of the cactus beetle and it's larvae so it generally can grow well for many years.
Propagation: Can be propagated by seed or from stem cuttings.
Size: The size of a single plant can be quite extensive but average around 3.5 feet in height and over 6 feet in width.
Shape: Padded/Jointed
Flowers: Flowers open in the spring and are yellow on most non hybrid varieties.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Barber ©2003

Description
There are no spines on these plants. But do not let the soft velvety look fool you. The numerous small glochids can easily detach if touched and become very bothersome. There are three commonly seen glochid colors found in Opuntia microdasys; reddish-brown, golden yellow and white. The variety substitution is not recognized today and these color names are generally only used commonly for sales distinction.

Author Comments
This can be a very beautiful species in any garden. It is very hardy and drought tolerant and can become a pesky invader if not cut back on a regular basis. This Opuntia has been in cultivation for a number of years and can sometimes be found as an escaped species in the desert around Tucson. There are three distinctive cultivated forms. Each having white, yellow or rusty red glochids.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=o.microdasys

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Item ID: 38
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Opuntia
Species: engelmannii
Common Name: Engelmann's Prickly Pear, Flaming Prickly Pear, Tuna, Yellow Spined Prickly Pear
Habitat: This species may be found from 200 to 4,500 feet elevation in a variety of soil types. The habitat around Tucson for this species is well known to many and it is certainly not overly selective.
Range: This species is found in many areas of the United States, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. It occurs in many states south of the border into Mexico extending as far south as San Louis Potosi.
Care: This Opuntia like many others is a trouble free plant to maintain. It is extremely drought tolerant, cold hardy and a fast grower. Extra water during the dry summer months is encouraged but seldom needed. It is easily attacked by the cactus beetle, and can be infested by Cochineal insects that can eventually kill or damage the stems. Extra care should be given to avoid those predators.
Propagation: By seed or stem cuttings.
Size: This plant can reach around 10 feet in height and 10 or more feet in width.
Shape: Padded/Jointed
Flowers: Flowers on this species are typically pure yellow, large and very showy. Sometimes variations of the flower color can occur which is not rare.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Barber ©2003

Description
There are currently 6 different varieties of O. engelmannii recognized. Each has its own characteristics and distinctions.

Author Comments
In time the plant can get far larger than most gardens have space allowed. If you need to fill a large area with an intruder protective plant this one would easily be a top choice. The fruit is a big favorite among the bird population during August. This has also proven to be a great way for this species to continue with an extensive population and keep those seed on the move.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=o.engelmannii

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Item ID: 39
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Opuntia
Species: engelmannii var. linguiformis
Common Name: Cow's Tongue Cactus, Cow Tongue Prickly Pear, Lengua de vaca
Habitat: The original habitat of this Opuntia is the low mesquite forested range land of south Texas just northeast of San Antonio at around 500 feet elevation.
Range: This particular Opuntia was found native to a limited area in Bexar County, Texas. First described by Griffiths in 1908. The location was documented by Del Weniger as being just south of the town of China Grove and Sayers, Texas. This particular Opuntia has been widely accepted and now grows in many areas outside the original range.
Care: Because of this plants great ability to adapt to the surroundings it should be noted that cultivation is not a concern. This cactus can grow into a nice size plant in only a few years. It requires little supplemental water but a little added water should keep it looking good and healthy. Some plants require pruning of the stems in order to keep it from spreading into other areas of the garden.
Propagation: This cactus is easily propagated by stem cuttings or by seed.
Size: Plants can reach 6 feet in height and up to 8 feet wide.
Shape: Padded/Jointed
Flowers: This Opuntia has flowers that are 2 inches wide and yellow in color.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©2003

Description
It is easy to see where this Opuntia got its' name. The stems have been found to grow to almost 2 feet in length and are armed with the typical yellow spines of the engelmannii species. The real "Cow Tongue" look distinguishes this plant from all other Opuntias.

Author Comments
This plant is a sprawling species and tends to spread quickly if not pruned and attended. If you have the space it will spread.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=o.engelmannii-var-linguiformis

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Item ID: 40
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Stenocereus
Species: thurberi
Common Name: Organ Pipe Cactus, Mehuelé
Habitat: This plant can be seen in rocky, desert terrain at 900 to 3,500 feet in elevation.
Range: This species is found in extreme southern Arizona, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California, Mexico.
Care: Stenocereus thurberi can be grown in Tucson provided it has a micro-climate suitable for low frost or freeze occurences along with dry soil conditions during the winter months. It is a rather slow growing species and can take many years to mature to specimen size.
Propagation: This cactus can be easily grown from seed or propagated by stem cuttings.
Size: A mature specimen can reach 25 feet in height and over 15 feet in width with numerous stem columns.
Shape: Columnar
Flowers: Flowers are white and open during the evening hours. They may remain open for most of the following day.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©2005

Description
The Organ Pipe Cactus is a beautiful, highly desirable plant for a desert landscape. The olive green stems or columns can be quite large with numerous gray spines.

Author Comments
This is a plant that should be grown in your landscape if you have the proper conditions. It is not a fast growing plant so be patient. It may need to be protected from frost and cold temperatures during the winter. The fruits of this species are a delicious reward and are sold in Mexican markets during the time of harvest. A cactus candy known as pitahaya dulce is also made from the fruits of this species and Opuntia fruit.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=s.thurberi

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Item ID: 41
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Aloe
Species: saponaria
Common Name: No common name available
Habitat: This Aloe occurs at around 6,500 feet elevation where the largest populations are found along the eastern mountain slopes of Black Mountain in Rhodesia.
Range: Aloe saponaria has been found only around the Inyanga District of Rhodesia in South Africa. It is reported to be found just north of Troutbeck on near Mount Inyangani.
Care: In Tucson this Aloe is probably the most widely cultivated of all Aloes. It is a very easy plant to grow and requires very little extra attention. It may require more moisture during those months when rainfall is low. It is a winter grower and will accept added moisture during the Tucson winter.
Propagation: This plant is easily propagated by removal of the many offsets and by seed.
Size: The actual plant is only about 12 inches in height and can be about the same in width. Older plants can have many offsets and produce a very large group several feet in width.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: The flowers of this species are a beautiful shade of red that can appear in the late fall.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Barber ©2003

Description
This Aloe is widely cultivated and is quite attractive mainly because of the variable light whitish leaf markings. Along the edges of the green leaves are brownish colored teeth that are usually not extremely sharp. The flowering plants here in Tucson are noted as a good attractant for humming birds.

Author Comments
The proper identification of Aloes growing in Tucson can be difficult for those not familiar with these South African favorites. The written information on this plant says that it is a solitary grower but plants found here in Tucson have many offsets so this Aloe is still under investigation. It has been also reported that this Aloe may harbor small mites that could invade your other Aloes during stressful periods.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=a.saponaria

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Item ID: 43
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Pachycereus
Species: marginatus
Common Name: Mexican Fence Post Cactus, Organo
Habitat: Found in numerous locations along valleys and hillsides in a variety of soil types.
Range: Found native throughout Hidalgo, Querétaro, Guanajuato and Oaxaca, Mexico. This species has also been widely cultivated and grown in a variety of locations in Mexico where it is has now naturalized. Commonly called the Fence Post cactus because it has for many years been used and cultivated as a fence for livestock.
Care: This cactus is an easy plant to grow from nursery stock or from cuttings. It is a rather fast plant to grow and can become a very large specimen over 8 to 10 feet tall in about 10 years. It does very well in full sun and may need extra water during the hotter parts of the Arizona summer.
Propagation: This cactus is can be easily grown from seed or propagated by cuttings.
Size: Can grow to a height of 10 to 18 feet tall and 4 feet in width.
Shape: Columnar
Flowers: Flowers are rather small and reddish pink in color.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Dick Wiedhopf ©2003

Description
This is an erect plant that does not branch much above ground level. It is very green in color with about 5 to 7 ribs armed with very short spines. The plant can be easily picked up using gloves or even bare hands if careful. The plant forms a tall slender cluster of stems that are very attractive for landscape purposes.

Author Comments
In Tucson this plant has not been grown enough. It does very well here and should be in everyone's cactus garden although extreme frost and cold temperatures may scar the stems in some areas of town. It is best to check with a local cactus nursery expert to see if your area is safe.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=p.marginatus

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Item ID: 44
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Peniocereus
Species: greggii var. transmontanus
Common Name: Queen of the Night, Night Blooming Cereus, Sweet Potato cactus
Habitat: The Queen of the Night is found growing among desert shrubs and trees such as mesquite and palo-verde at elevations from 1,000 to 3,500 feet. Because of the color of the stems it is often quite hard to find among the vegetation and can easily be overlooked.
Range: This cactus occurs in parts of Cochise, Maricopa and Pima counties in Arizona and south into Sonora, Mexico.
Care: This is a great plant for a dry weather garden that is not controlled by drip or by other means of irrigation. Plants are usually purchased at a small size and you can easily transplant it to your garden very easily where it can grow into a flowering specimen in several years. Plants will need to be placed under the protection of other vegetation until they can grow and mature.
Propagation: New plants are best grown from seed although cuttings can be rooted easily.
Size: Peniocereus greggii has a large tubular root that can weight up to 80 pounds or more. The above ground plant that is seen can be as much as 4 feet in height with numerous branched stems.
Shape: Padded/Jointed
Flowers: The large white flowers of this plant are nocturnal and begin their display in late May. Older, long-time residents talk of having specimens with up to 100 flowers open on a single night.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Barber ©2002

Description
This plant is hard to misidentify when found in and around the Tucson area. It is found usually hidden from view because of the stems that appear at first to be only dead limbs fallen from a tree. The plant is a dull gray color with sometimes purplish edging. The spines are very short and close to the plant along the tapering stems that are very thin at the base and wider ate the top. The stems can be easily broken off as they are quite fragile and brittle at the base.

Author Comments
Lyman Benson states that plant distribution within its' native habitat is almost entirely controlled by birds that feed on the rather large bright red fruit. The seed is dispersed and usually germinated under the protection of trees and shrubs where it is safe from being browsed or trampled by predators. The flowers produce a very fragrant smell that can be a delightful experience for anyone who loves the Sonoran desert.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=p.greggii

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Item ID: 51
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Agave
Species: lechuguilla
Common Name: Shin Dagger Agave
Habitat: This Agave is extremely fond of gravelly limestone soil and throughout its natural range it can be commonly found in association with limestone.
Range: This is probably the most widely distributed Agave species. Agave lechuguilla ranges from southern New Mexico and southwest Texas down into Mexico through the states of Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas and San Luis Potisí. It can occur from around 1,500 to near 7,500 feet elevation.
Care: This is one of the hardiest of Agaves to grow in and around the Tucson area. It is easily grown with regular watering during the summer and can even tolerate extremely dry conditions. It is a very hardy plant that can take temperatures to 0º F. One distinctive characteristic is that it produces many offsets and may need extra space in a garden.
Propagation: Agave lechuguilla produces an abundance of offsets and can also be grown from seed.
Size: Mature plants can be to 20 inches tall and up to 30 inches wide although these sizes can vary.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: The yellow flowers are tinged with red and are usually produced on healthy plants that are about 10 to over 20 years old.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Karen Keller ©2004

Description
The leaves of Agave lechuguilla are usually straight and may number from 10 to over 50. Leaves are stiff, erect , dagger-like and can be a real challenge when hiking through its habitat. Many offsets are common with this species.

Author Comments
This Agave is a very fiberous plant and was also very important for the production of soap. The fibers of the leaves, known as "istle" and "ixtle", were used in rope production. Cows and other grazing animals have been killed by consuming leaves of this Agave. It is a true survivor that can withstand conditions that would easily kill other species and is recommended for those who need a good "neglect" plant.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=a.lechuguilla

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Item ID: 26
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Hesperaloe
Species: parviflora
Common Name: Red hesperaloe, Red Yucca, Hummingbird Yucca
Habitat: Hesperaloe parviflora is fond of limestone soils and is commonly found along valley slopes and canyon areas within the habitat.
Range: Not commonly found in Texas but has become a distributed cultivar. It is also popular in many southern and southwestern states. This plant is from western Texas and northeast Mexico.
Care: This is a very easy plant to grow in Tucson and the surrounding areas. It is very tolerant of cold weather and can easily take temperatures below 0º F. It is also highly tolerant of full sun and may only need supplimental watering during the dryer months of the year.
Propagation: Propagation is from seed and division of the numerous offsets.
Size: Adult plants may have many offsets and can be 2 to 4 feet in height and several feet wide.
Shape: Clustering
Flowers: Deep red to light pink and there is also a cream to yellow flowering variety.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins @2003

Description
There are basiclly two forms of this plant that are very popular for desert landscaping. Both the red and yellow flowering forms are currently available in many nurseries. Plants have long deep green ascending leaves with white hairlike portions along the leaf margins. Flowers are numerous and are a common attractant of hummingbirds.

Author Comments
If you have a garden space without this plant please seek it out and purchase one or two. It is a very easy plant to care for and only requires a little extra water to demonstrate a healthy green growth. Removal of the flower stalk may be needed after flowering. Plants often display many small light green fruit or seed pods that can be collected when dry and split open to gather the many thin, black seed for cultivation .

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=h.parviflora

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