Ferocactus pilosus (Galeotti ex Salm-Dyck) Werderm.
Mexican Lime Cactus, Fire Barrel, Mexican Fire Barrel, Mexican Fire Barrel Cactus
Echinocactus pilosus, Echinocactus piliferus, Echinocactus piliferus, Echinocactus pringlei, Echinocactus stainesii, Ferocactus piliferus, Ferocactus pringlei, Ferocactus stainesii
Ferocactus pilosus is one of the most spectacular species in the genus. It is a simple or clumping cactus with deep green, barrel-shaped to columnar stems with 13 to 20 prominent ribs adorned with areoles sprouting bright red central spines and white bristle-like radial spines. Over time, it often forms groups with several subsidiary stems growing from the main one. Flowers are yellow to red, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and appear from late spring to summer. They form a discreet ring at the top of the stems. Fruits are yellow and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long.
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.
This species is native to Mexico.
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