Hedgehog cactus Echinopsis ancistrophora

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care


The plant in question, commonly known as Echinopsis ancistrophora, is a species typically recognized for its spiny, spherical to columnar shape. Its surface is often green, covered in white woolly fibers that can give it a somewhat fuzzy appearance. The spines of this plant can be long and needle-like, spreading outward from the numerous ribs that run vertically along the plant's body. These ribs give the plant a pleated look and allow it to expand to store water. The spiny protrusions differ in color and can range from yellowish to a reddish-brown, sometimes adding a contrasting accent to the plant's green backdrop. Flowers emerge from the sides of the plant, near the top, and tend to be large, funnel-shaped, and strikingly vibrant. They range in color, displaying shades of white, pink, red, or orange. The flowers bloom mainly at night and often have a pleasant fragrance. After the blooming, the flowers give way to small fruits that carry seeds for reproduction. Overall, the appearance of Echinopsis ancistrophora is that of a typical cactus, with adaptations such as spines and thick, fleshy structure to store water, underscoring its survival in arid environments.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Ancistrocactus Ancistrophorus, Bishop’s Cap Cactus, Bishop's Miter Cactus, Brown-Spined Hedgehog Cactus.

    • Common names

      Cereus ancistrophorus, Echinopsis ancistrophora ssp. ancistrophora, Echinopsis ancistrophora var. torrecillasensis, Lobivia ancistrophora, Lobivia ancistrophora var. torrecillasensis, Soehrensia ancistrophora.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Echinopsis ancistrophora, commonly known as hedgehog cactus, is not typically considered toxic to humans. However, like many cacti, it can cause physical harm through its sharp spines if handled improperly. There is no notable toxicity associated with ingestion of this plant, and it does not typically cause poisoning. Nevertheless, it is generally not advisable to consume any part of ornamental plants due to potential risks and lack of edible use.

    • To pets

      Hedgehog cactus is not known to be toxic to pets. This plant does not contain substances that are poisonous to animals when ingested. However, as with humans, the primary concern is the physical injury that can be caused by the sharp spines. If a pet does attempt to chew or swallow parts of the plant, they might experience mechanical injury to their mouth or digestive tract. It is still best to keep pets away from such plants to prevent accidental injuries.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: Echinopsis ancistrophora, commonly known as the Easter Lily Cactus, is popular for its attractive, large trumpet-shaped flowers that add aesthetic appeal to gardens and indoor spaces.
    • Drought tolerance: This cactus is extremely drought-resistant, making it a great choice for xeriscaping and water-efficient gardening practices.
    • Low maintenance: The Easter Lily Cactus requires minimal care, thriving with occasional watering and being tolerant to neglect, ideal for busy or forgetful gardeners.
    • Easy propagation: It can be easily propagated through seeds or offsets, allowing gardeners to expand their collection or share with others without buying new plants.
    • Pollinator attraction: The vivid flowers of the Easter Lily Cactus attract various pollinators like bees, contributing to the health of the local ecosystem.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography: The San Pedro cactus is often used as a stunning subject in photography due to its unique shape and beautiful flowers, appealing to both professional and amateur photographers.
    • Traditional Crafts: Indigenous people sometimes use the dried cactus wood (after it has died naturally) to create small crafts and souvenirs for sale to tourists or for cultural significance.
    • Garden Fencing: In some regions, live San Pedro cacti are planted closely together to form a natural and deterrent fence due to their spiny exterior.
    • Education: Botanical gardens and educational programs use San Pedro cactus specimens to teach about desert ecology and plant adaptations in arid environments.
    • Landscape Design: Due to its striking appearance, this cactus is used in xeriscape landscaping, providing an aesthetic appeal with minimal water requirements.
    • Cultural Ceremonies: In certain cultures, the cactus may be included in rituals or ceremonies as a symbol of the earth and fertility, although not for its psychoactive properties.
    • Feng Shui: The San Pedro cactus is sometimes recommended by Feng Shui practitioners to bring positive energy into a home or garden setting.
    • Art Installations: Contemporary artists may utilize this cactus in art installations or live sculptures due to its imposing presence and visual impact.
    • Sound Insulation: The dense, fibrous structure of the San Pedro cactus can sometimes be used in green building designs to contribute to natural sound insulation properties.
    • Environmental Education: The San Pedro cactus serves as a case study or example of sustainable harvesting and conservation efforts in some educational contexts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Echinopsis ancistrophora, commonly known as the Easter Lily Cactus, is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Easter Lily Cactus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Echinopsis ancistrophora, commonly known as Hedgehog Cactus, demonstrates resilience with its ability to thrive in harsh, arid environments. It symbolizes the capacity to endure and adapt to difficult conditions.
    • Protection: The spines on the Hedgehog Cactus serve as a defense mechanism against predators. As a symbol, it represents the need for establishing boundaries and safeguarding oneself from potential harms.
    • Beauty and Surprise: Despite its rugged exterior, Hedgehog Cactus produces beautiful flowers, often unexpectedly. It symbolizes the idea that beauty can arise in unexpected places and that beneath a tough exterior lies hidden potential and wonder.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Hedgehog Cactus should be watered thoroughly when the soil mix is completely dry, generally every 7 to 10 days during the active growing season in spring and summer. Watering can be reduced to once a month during the dormant season in winter. Apply approximately 8 to 16 ounces of water per gallon of soil, ensuring even distribution and allowing excess water to drain away. Avoid water stagnation at the base of the plant to prevent rot. Always check soil moisture before the next watering to adjust the schedule as needed.

  • sunLight

    The Hedgehog Cactus thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. The ideal spot for this cactus is where it can get about 4-6 hours of morning sunlight with protection from the harsh afternoon sun, such as a south-facing window with some form of shade or a light curtain. It can tolerate direct sunlight but should be acclimated gradually to prevent sunburn.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Hedgehog Cactus prefers temperatures between 50°F and 90°F, which makes it suitable for most indoor environments. It can survive minimal nighttime temperatures down to around 40°F but should be protected from frost. The ideal temperature range for promoting growth and flowering is between 70°F and 80°F, ensuring the plant’s environment does not fluctuate widely.

  • scissorsPruning

    For the Hedgehog Cactus, pruning is generally not necessary, as it does not have branches or foliage that need shaping. The main reason for pruning would be to remove any dead or damaged spines or to separate offsets for propagation. Pruning, if necessary, should be done in the growing season when the plant is most resilient. Pruning during winter dormancy is not advised since the plant is not actively growing.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Echinopsis ancistrophora, commonly known as Hedgehog Cactus, thrives best in a well-draining cactus mix with added pumice or perlite for extra drainage. The ideal soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. A recipe could include 1 part potting soil, 2 parts coarse sand, and 1 part perlite or pumice.

  • plantRepotting

    The Hedgehog Cactus should be repotted every two to three years or when it outgrows its current pot. It's best to repot Echinopsis ancistrophora during spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Hedgehog Cactus prefers low humidity levels, typical of its native desert habitat. Aim to keep the humidity around the plant relatively low, below 50%, to maintain optimal health and prevent issues such as rot.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, well-draining soil, and low humidity indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Place in full sun to partial shade, in well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA.

  • circleLife cycle

    Echinopsis ancistrophora, commonly known as the spiny flower cactus, begins its life as a seed, typically germinating in warm, moist soil conditions. The seed develops into a small cactus seedling, which gradually grows and produces a thick, fleshy green stem with spines, characteristic of cacti. As the plant matures, it undergoes vegetative growth, expanding in size and might produce offsets or "pups" around its base, which can be separated and grown as new individual plants. After reaching maturity, which can take several years, the spiny flower cactus produces large, colorful, funnel-shaped flowers, mainly during the spring or summer, which are pollinated by insects, birds, or bats. Following successful pollination, the flowers develop into fruit containing seeds, which when mature, disperse to begin a new generation. The spiny flower cactus has a long lifespan and can continue to produce flowers and seeds for many years under suitable conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Echinopsis ancistrophora, commonly known as the Easter Lily Cactus, can be effectively propagated using its seeds or offsets. The most popular method is through offsets, which usually occurs during the spring or early summer when the plant's growth is most active. To propagate by offsets, one should gently remove the offset from the parent plant, ensuring to include some roots if possible. It's advisable to let the offset dry for a few days to form a callus over the cut surface, which helps prevent rot. Once the offset has callused, plant it in a well-draining cactus mix, water sparingly, and provide bright, indirect light. This method is uncomplicated and allows the grower to rapidly expand their collection of Easter Lily Cacti.