Ferocactus glaucescens (Blue Barrel Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Ferocactus glaucescens (DC.)  Britton & Rose

Common Names

Blue Barrel Cactus, Glaucous Barrel Cactus

Synonyms

Bisnaga glaucescens, Echinocactus glaucescens, Echinocactus  pfeifferi, Ferocactus pfeifferi

Scientific Classification

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

Flower

Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Late spring and summer

Description

Ferocactus glaucescens is a generally solitary, barrel cactus with bluish-green stems, up to 22 inches (55 cm) tall and 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter, with 11 to 15 ribs, 0 or 1 central spine, and straight, light yellow 6 or 7 radial spines and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. The flowers are lemon yellow, funnel-shaped and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The plants start flowering when about 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. The fruits are white, 0.8 inch (2 cm) long with the remnants of the flowers attached.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Choose a planting location that receives direct sun during all or most of the day. Because Ferocactus eventually leans into the sun instead of growing precisely upright and because it has extremely sharp thorns, place it where people will not brush into it accidentally.

Plant your cactus in early spring before new roots begin to form in late June and early July. 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. Ferocactus thrives in poor and arid soil.

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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Ferocactus

Origin

Ferocactus glaucescens is native to eastern Central Mexico.

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