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Ferocactus emoryi (Emory's Barrel Cactus)


Scientific Name

Ferocactus emoryi (Engelm.) Orcutt

Common Names

Emory's Barrel Cactus, Emory Barrel, Coville's Barrel Cactus, Coville's Cactus, Traveler's Friend, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Long-Spined Barrel Cactus, Sonora Barrel


Ferocactus covillei, Echinocactus emoryi, Echinocactus covillei, Ferocactus emoryi subsp. emoryi

Scientific Classification

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


Ferocactus emoryi is spherical or cylindrical solitary barrel cactus, light green to glaucous, up to 40 inches (1 m) in diameter and up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) tall. It has 15 to 30 ribs with tubercles, especially in the juvenile stage. The spines are white to reddish. The central spine is very strong, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, while the seven to twelve radial spines reach lengths of up to 2.4 inches (6 cm). The large and funnel-shaped flowers are usually red or yellow, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter. The fruit is ovoidal, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.

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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. Water again only if the weather in your area is unseasonably dry and if normal spring or winter rainfall doesn't occur. 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Ferocactus.


Native to southwestern United States (Arizona) and Mexico (Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur).


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