The Echinocereus is closely related to the popular Echinocactus. Mostly native to the southern United States and Mexico, there are about 75 species of this pretty little cactus, a few of which sometimes find their way into garden centers. They are often called hedgehog cactus, a name that is sometimes applied to other squat, globular cacti, not in the Echinocereus genus, such as the Echinopsis.Among cactus growers, Echinocereus are known for being a bit easier than some of their fussier cousins. Some members of this genus can be found far to the north, growing in quite cold areas. Echinocereus have a very wide range of shapes and sizes, ranging from small balls with spines to thin columns. Like other cacti, the Echinocereus have beautiful flowers.