Pincushion Cactus

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC

Pincushion Cactus is a round or cylindrical cactus with tiny hairlike prickles or spines at the top of each cone-like bump. There are over 400 different species of Pincushion Cactus, which are usually small (6-8 in) but can be up to 3 ft tall. There may be a single stem or a large cluster.

Pincushion Cactus usually flowers shortly after it has rained. The flowers have daisy-like petals pointing upwards like a funnel. They are often bright pink but can also range from white to red and occasionally yellow. The fruit is typically small, red, and elongated like a tiny pepper.

Pincushion Cactus grows well in hot, dry, sandy, or rocky places from southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to the southwestern United States.

Did you know? Sharp spines offer protection. Soft, dense spines shield the cactus from the hot sun.

See Also: Prickly Pear Cactus