Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britton & Rose
Fishhook Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Compass Barrel
Ferocactus wislizeni is a cactus with a green, spherical to cylindrical, usually solitary stem with 15 to 28 ribs and a cluster of spines on each areole. It grows up to 6.5 feet (2 m) tall and up to 30 inches (80 cm) in diameter. Each areole bears 1 to 4 dull pink, gray, or tan central spines, one usually strongly hooked and dull pink, gray, or tan and white, often bristle-like radial spines. Flowers are yellow to red-orange with reddish midribs and brown tips and appear atop the fruits during the summer months. They are up to 3.4 inches (8.5 cm) long and up to 2.4 inches (6.5 cm) in diameter. Fruits are green when unripe, yellow after the flower dries up, and persist atop the cactus long after the bloom is gone, sometimes for more than a year.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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 typical 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.
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