Echinocereus Engelm. ()
🌵 Author(s)
🌵 Published in Mem. Tour N. Mexico [Wislizenus] 91 (1848)
🌵 Type Echinocereus viridiflorus

Latin ĕchīnus ‘sea-urchin, hedgehog’ + Cereus, the name of a genus of columnar cacti and a designation for columnar cacti in general. The name, like Echinopsis, indicates the “intermediate position between Echinocactus and Cereus” (Engelmann). It does not refer to “the spiny fruit in which Echinocereus is conspicuously different from the true Cereus” (Britton & Rose, Cactaceae 3: 3. 1922) or the (non-existent) similarity to a sea urchin (Helmut Genaust, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der botanischen Pflanzennamen. 3. Auflage. 1996).

Echinocereus is sometimes abbreviated as Ereus.

How to cite

van der Meer, Maarten H.J. (2022, July 13). Echinocereus. Dictionary of Cactus Names. Retrieved from


A.T. Johnson, H.A. Smith & A.P. Stockdale (2019): Plant Names Simplified, 3rd Edition


Ross Bayton (2019): The Garderner's Botanical


Helmut Genaust (1996): Etymologisches Wörterbuch der botanischen Pflanzennamen, 3. Auflage

“Botanical Latin is essentially a written language, but the scientific names of plants often occur in speech. How they are pronounced really matters little provided they sound pleasant and are understood by all concerned.”

William T. Stearn (1983): Botanical Latin, 3rd Edition: 53