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Ferocactus cylindraceus (California Barrel Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Ferocactus cylindraceus (Engelm.) Orcutt

Common Names

California Barrel Cactus, Cliff Barrel Cactus, Compass Barrel Cactus, Compass Cactus, Desert Barrel Cactus, Golden-Spine Barrel Cactus, Spiny Barrel Cactus

Synonyms

Echinocactus acanthodes, Echinocactus viridescens var. cylindraceus

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Ferocactus cylindraceus is usually cylindrical or spherical, with some older specimens forming columns up to 6.6 feet (2 m) in height. It is covered in long, plentiful spines, which are straight and red when new and become curved and gray as they age. The cactus bears flowers that are maroon outside, and bright yellow inside, with red or yellow centers on the side that faces the sun. The fleshy, hollow fruits are yellow.

How to Grow and Care

Choose a planting location that receives direct sun during all or most of the day. Water the cactus at the time of planting to anchor it into the soil. Plant your Barrel Cactus in early spring before new roots begin to form in late June and early July. The roots may appear dry, but that is typical before new growth begins. Dig a hole deep enough for the plant’s roots and amend it as needed to provide fast-draining soil. A good soil mixture includes 10 percent native soil, 45 percent washed sand or pumice and 45 percent compost. Ferocactus thrives in poor and arid soil. Water the cactus at the time of planting to anchor it into the soil. Water again only if the weather in your area is unseasonably dry and if normal spring or winter rainfall doesn’t occur… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Ferocactus.

Origin

Native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

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