Eriosyce taltalensis ssp.
echinus (F.Ritter) F.Kattermann
Origin: Northern Chile
II Region, Atacama, Antofagasta
Habitat: Coastal areas,
with coastal fog (camanchaca)
The plants obtain water mainly from condensation.
Altitude: m. 50-300.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
From Latin “echinos” hedgehog, sea-urchin for the fierce spiny habit of
- Eriosyce taltalensis
paucicostata ssp. echinus (F.Ritter) Ferryman
paucicostata var. echinus (F.Ritter) A.E.Hoffm.
- Eriosyce taltalensis
var. echinus (F.Ritter) Katt.
echinus (F.Ritter) Backeb
- Neoporteria echinus
- Pyrrhocactus echinus
- Neochilenia echinus
is a solitary, fiercely spined cacti with variable spine size and white
wool on top.
Stem: Globose, 8 to 15 or more cm in diameter and tall ( in
cultivation it is subglobose to elongate and may slowly reach an height
of 20 or more cm) Dark green, tan to grey-purple tinged stem.
Up to 15 cm in diameter.
Root: Conical taproot.
notched, forming tubercles with sunken
Spines: Juvenile specimens have only few
spines, but the numbers increase as they get older, and areoles can have
over 20 spines on mature specimens. They are straight or curved, dark
brown to black, soon becoming chalky-white or greyish,
Radial spines: 6 to12, 3 to 20 mm long.
Central spines: 6 to12, 20 to 40 mm long.
Flowers: From apical areoles, narrow
or funnel-shaped, about 3 cm in diameter. The colour comprises
red, fuchsia, pink, creamy white and yellowish. Floral tube with
abundant white wool and twisted bristles. There might
be over 50 flowers on a mature specimen (only mature specimens bloom).
Fruit: Reddish, elongate, opening by a basal pore.
E. taltalensis is a very variable species with lots of
controversial synonyms, the principal subspecies and variety (by
Katterman) are the following:
This taxon is characterized by straight spines and red, pink, cream or
whitish blooms and comprises two variety: var. taltalensis
with red or cream flowers and var. pygmaea with white or
Is has usually bi coloured flowers white below fuchsia or red above
and comprises two variety: var. echinus with stems
having short apical wool and var. floccosa with apexes
covered by long wool.
It is the larger form with often elongated stems, the flowers are
yellow to red.
- subsp. pilispina:
Has thin twisted spines and white flowers.
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars
of plants belonging
to the Eriosyce taltalensis
Taxon is very variable taxon with a
endless list of synonyms, with
several controversial varieties and subspecies,
and comprises a multitude of different forms, but where each form is
linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate