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Ferocactus glaucescens (Blue Barrel Cactus)


Scientific Name

Ferocactus glaucescens (DC.)  Britton & Rose

Common Names

Blue Barrel Cactus, Glaucous Barrel Cactus


Bisnaga glaucescens, Echinocactus glaucescens, Echinocactus pfeifferi, Ferocactus pfeifferi

Scientific Classification

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


Ferocactus glaucescens is a generally solitary, barrel cactus with bluish green stems up to 22 inches (55 cm) tall and up to 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. It has 11 to 15 ribs and 0 or 1 central spine, very similar to the radials. Straight, light yellow 6 or 7 radial spines are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. The flower is lemon yellow, funnel-shaped and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The fruits are white, up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long, with the remnants of the flowers attached.


USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

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


Native to eastern Central Mexico.


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