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Ferocactus latispinus (Devil's Tongue Barrel Cactus)


Scientific Name

Ferocactus latispinus Britton & Rose

Common Names

Devil's Tongue Barrel Cactus, Devil's Tongue Barrel, Devil's Tongue Cactus, Crow's Claw Cactus, Fish Hook Cactus


Bisnaga latispina, Bisnaga recurva subsp. latispina, Cactus latispinus, Echinocactus corniger var. latispinus, Echinocactus cornigerus f. latispinus, Echinocactus latispinus, Echinocactus recurvus var. latispinus, Ferocactus recurvus var. latispinus, Mammillaria latispina

Scientific Classification

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


Ferocactus latispinus is an attractive cactus with a globular, light green stem that usually has 21 acute ribs. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and up to 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter. Its spines are flattened, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and range from reddish to white. Flowers are funnel-shaped, purplish or yellowish, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long and appear in late fall or early winter. They are followed by oval-shaped, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long fruits.

Ferocactus latispinus (Devil's Tongue Barrel Cactus)

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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, 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 latispinus is native to Mexico.


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