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Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. sinuatus (Mexican Fruit Cactus)


Scientific Name

Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) N.P.Taylor

Common Names

Mexican Fruit Cactus, Yellow Turk's Head, Turk's Head Barrel, Turk's Head Cactus, Turk's Head Barrel Cactus, Viznaga Barrel Cactus, Texas Barrel Cactus


Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. sinuatus, Echinocactus sinuatus (basionym), Echinocactus longihamatus var. sinuatus, Echinocactus longihamatus f. sinuatus, Echinocactus setispinus var. sinuatus, Bisnaga haematacantha subsp. sinuata, Hamatocactus sinuatus

Scientific Classification

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


Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. sinuatus is a smaller version of Ferocactus hamatacanthus. It is a barrel cactus with a solitary or sparsely clumping, dark green stem that grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, and up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. It has 13 to 17 tuberculate ribs, circular to elliptic areoles up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) apart, and 12 to 16 spines per areole. The flowers are funnel-shaped, pale yellow, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, and up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) in diameter.

Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. sinuatus (Mexican Fruit Cactus)

Photo by Emilio V


USDA hardiness zones 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °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, 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.

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. Ferocactus needs a dormant period with dry soil during the winter.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Ferocactus.


Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. sinuatus is native to Mexico and the United States.


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