A recently acquired specimen showing off it's lovely spines.
Native to Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico, the "Arizona Rainbow Cactus" is a beautiful member of the Echinocereus genus. A solitary columnar, it grows to about a foot tall and can only be raised from seed. The spines of this cactus vary from creamy white to a gorgeous deep magenta color in alternating horizontal bands, hence the "Rainbow" name. Not satisfied with having some of the prettiest spination in the cactus family, the plants also produce large spectacular pink to magenta flowers in summer.
E. rigidissimus ssp. rubispinus is an even prettier plant with deep magenta spines. I count myself lucky to have specimens of both, they are truly magnificent plants. The one below has been in my garden for over 10 years and has flowered faithfully, the first flower pic is from last season. I also have some excellent pics of a little potted one flowering this spring. There is also a pic of a cristate form I recently acquired.
Update May 7th 2007. Four flowers at once on the one in the garden.
All images and text are copyright 2005-Present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.