Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: Occurs in the mountainous area near the border of Gila and Pina counties in Arizona.
Catalog Number: US 73376
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. R. Orcutt
Year Collected: 1922
Locality: Gila / Pinal, Arizona, United States, North America
- Type collection: Orcutt, C. R. 1926. Cactography. 3.
Comments: It is found in oak woodlands and chaparral at 1050-1410 m (possibly 1150-1600 m), annual precipitation 48 cm, in a mixture of Interior Chaparral and Madrean Evergreen woodland. It usually grows in clumps among granite boulders with a dense shrub overstory on open slopes or the understory of a more open canopy. The terrain throughout its range is rugged with steep-walled canyons, and boulder-pile ridges and slopes. Cacti are found scattered about on open slopes, in narrow cracks between boulders, and in the understory of shrubs (USFWS 1984). It is normally found on Orthoclase-rich granite of late Cretaceous age; other parent materials in the area include volcanic tuff, mid-Tertiary age dacite and perhaps rhyolite (pH about 6).
Habitat and Ecology
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Research is needed to determine susceptibility to fire and whether fire suppression and livestock grazing have contributed to habitat loss.
Life History and Behavior
While there is a paucity of species-specific information on seed dispersal, it is known within the genus of Echinocereus that mammals do eat and disperse their seeds. Ringtails, and gray foxes are known to eat the fruits of cacti species in Echinocereus (Willson 1993).
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: T2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to a mountainous area in south-central Arizona. Overcollection is a major threat, as is the potential of habitat loss due to open-pit mining.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Date Listed: 11/26/1979
Lead Region: Southwest Region (Region 2)
Listing status: E
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Echinocereus coccineus arizonicus, see its USFWS Species Profile
Degree of Threat: Unknown
Comments: Illegal harvest; may become more threatened by expansion of open-pit copper mining.
A very small part of the species range occur within protected areas.
Echinocereus arizonicus Rose ex Orcutt,  is a species of cactus native to the Chihuahuan Desert region of Chihuahua, southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona, as well as in the Superstition and Mescal Mountains of Central Arizona. Common names include "Arizona claret-cup cactus" and "Arizona hedgehog cactus."
Echinocereus arizonicus superficially resembles the dioecious tetraploid E. coccineus var. rosei of the Chihuahuan Desert, and several of its populations were mapped by L. D. Benson (1969, 1982) as part of E. triglochidatus var. neomexicanus (Standley) Standley ex W. T. Marshall. Echinocereus arizonicus subsp. nigrihorridispinus superficially resembles the partially sympatric, synoecious tetraploid recently named E. santaritensis W. Blum & Rutow (a hermaphroditic geographic race of E. coccineus), which has much longer hairs on the flowers, a narrower flower tube, and relatively slender spines. Irrespective of the misleading vegetative similarities between diploid E. arizonicus and its polyploid relatives, E. arizonicus differs strongly from both varieties of the diploid E. triglochidiatus.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Treated as Echinocereus coccineus var. arizonicus by Kartesz (1994 checklist, 1999 Synthesis), following N.P. Taylor's [revised] work on Echinocereus (pers. comm. J. Kartesz to L. Morse, 25Nov99). USFWS tracks as E. triglochidiatus var. arizonicus (Benson 1982; Taylor 1985). Treated by Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2003b) as the distinct species Echinocereus arizonicus.