We report the preparation of high surface area hedgehog-like CuO microspheres by a wet-chemical method and their application in Li-ion batteries used as anode materials. The samples were characterized by Nitrogen adsorption, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, temperature-programmed reduction and thermogravimetric analysis. The synthesized hedgehog-like CuO microspheres with a size of 1-3 um possessed a high surface area of 103.5 -157.4 m(2) g(-1) and an average crystal size of 7-9 nm. When used as anode materials, they showed an initial discharge and charge capacity of 1294.6 and 647.6 mAh g(-1), respectively, much higher than the corresponding values of the low surface area CuO microspheres, which are 967.1 and 382.6 mAh g(-1) respectively. After calcination at 300 and 600 degrees C, the morphology of hedgehog-like CuO microspheres was still maintained, and a high capacity of 570-590 mAh g(-1) at 0.1 C was observed after 50 cycles. Meanwhile, the average capacity fading rates for calcined hedgehog-like CuO microspheres were much lower than that of non-calcined and low surface area CuO microspheres, demonstrating that the calcination of CuO microspheres with the high surface area leads to a better cycling performance. This work provides a new method to prepare high surface area CuO materials, which are promising anode materials with high capacity and long cycling life in Li-ion batteries. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.