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  Eriosyce echinus
(Syn: Eriosyce taltalensis v. echinus)

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Neoporteria echinus (taltalensis) white flowering form.
It is a fiercely spined Eriosyce from coastal Chile (The Atacama desert). 


Cultivation:  It is a summer-growing species of relatively easy cultivation. It has a thick taproot and is susceptible to over-watering if kept in a non ventilated place. , sometimes it is  grafted to avoid root rot problems. Likes warmth (recommended minimum winter temperature 5° C) But plant kept perfectly dry can easily survive to winter night temperatures below 0° C. Sun Exposure: Suited for sunny-brightly exposure; can tolerate light shade.
Cultural Practices:
Suited for airy exposures.
Needs deep pot and gritty mineral substrate with a very good drainage to accommodate its tap root. Water regularly in summer, keep dry in winter.

Propagation: Usually propagated from Seeds. (seldom produces offsets) or graft. Seeds can be sown in the spring or summer. The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted after which they can be planted separately in small pots.


Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery ERIOSYCE



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Accepted Scientific name: 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.

Etymology: From Latin “echinos” hedgehog, sea-urchin for the fierce spiny habit of the plant.


  • Eriosyce taltalensis
  • Eriosyce paucicostata ssp. echinus (F.Ritter) Ferryman
  • Neoporteria paucicostata var. echinus (F.Ritter) A.E.Hoffm.
  • Eriosyce taltalensis var. echinus (F.Ritter) Katt.
  • Horridocactus echinus (F.Ritter) Backeb
  • Neoporteria echinus (F.Ritter) Ferryman
  • Pyrrhocactus echinus F.Ritter
  • Neochilenia echinus

Eriosyce taltalensis 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.
Ribs: Up13 notched, forming tubercles with sunken areoles.
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
From apical areoles, narrow
campanulate 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:

  • subsp. taltalensis: 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 pink flowers.

  • subsp. echinus: 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.

  • subsp. paucicostata: 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 complex (This 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 characteristics):

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.