Ferocactus glaucescens (DC.) Britton & Rose
Blue Barrel Cactus, Glaucous Barrel Cactus
Bisnaga glaucescens, Echinocactus glaucescens, Echinocactus pfeifferi, Ferocactus pfeifferi
Ferocactus glaucescens is a slow-growing cactus with a bluish-green, spherical or cylindrical, usually solitary stem with 11 to 15 ribs and clusters of long light yellow spines. The stem is depressed at the apex and grows up to 22 inches (55 cm) tall and 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. Each areole bears 6 to 7 radial spines and no or rarely one central spine. The spines are straight and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. Flowers are lemon yellow, funnel-shaped, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and appear in late spring and summer. They are followed by white, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long fruits with attached dried flower remnants.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Choose a location that receives direct sun during all or most of the day. Plant your Barrel Cactus in early spring before new roots begin to form. The roots may appear dry, which 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.
Water the cactus at the planting time 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. Ferocactus needs a dormant period with dry soil during the winter.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Ferocactus.
This species is native to eastern Central Mexico.
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