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Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus)


Scientific Name

Echinocactus grusonii Hildm.

Common Names

Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrel, Golden Ball Cactus, Golden Ball, Mother-in-Law's Cushion, Mother-in-Law's Seat

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Echinocactus


Echinocactus grusonii is a cactus with single, slowly growing, globe-shaped stem that became elongated (barrel-shaped) in maturity, up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall and in diameter. The stem is pale green and heavily ribbed with numerous areoles sprouting radial, yellow spines. The flowers are yellow, up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide and form a circular ring at the top of the plant only on larger mature specimens.


USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Golden Barrel Cactus is fairly quick growing at first. Then the growth rate slows right down. So you can expect to wait about 10 years for the cactus to reach 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. Like most cacti they're drought tolerant and need very little care and attention to grow well. Not enough sunlight and overwatering are common mistakes. When handling, it's best to use gloves to protect your hands from the prickly spines.

When they are young and growing, it is best to repot these once a year. During spring in a slightly bigger container. Once they mature repot maybe every 2 to 3 years or when necessary… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for a Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

You can sow Golden Barrel Cactus seeds outdoors in warm climates, but sowing them indoors is easier and will result in a higher germination rate. Expect the seeds to germinate in one to two months… – See more at: How to Grow Golden Barrel Cactus from Seed


Native to Mexico (Querétaro).


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