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soundararajan50
29-05-2014, 07:32 AM
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Hedgehog Cactus is a small barrel shaped cactus. It has several hundred stems in a compact hemisphere clump or mound.

The stems are cylindrical in shape, up to one foot long and 1 to 2 inches thick, with 9 or 10 ribs. The central spines are straight or slightly curved 1 to 2 inches long. Small radial spines arise in at a sharp angle.

The stems are green and contain chlorophyll. Hence the plant has no leaves at all! Its flowers are scarlet red in color, cup-shaped, 1 to 2 inches long and grow on the apex of the stem.

Humming birds are primary pollinators. Fruits become red and edible when ripe. The flowers bloom from April through June. This is the first cactus to bloom in spring.

The flowers stay open all night and last 3 to 5 days. Native American used to make sweet cakes from the fruits of these plants.

Visalakshi Ramani