Ferocactus glaucescens – Blue Barrel Cactus


Scientific Name

Ferocactus glaucescens (DC.)  Britton & Rose

Common Names

Blue Barrel Cactus, Glaucous Barrel Cactus


Bisnaga glaucescens, Echinocactus glaucescens, Echinocactus  pfeifferi, Ferocactus pfeifferi

Scientific Classification

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


Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Late spring and summer


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, 11 to 15 ribs, 0 or 1 central spine, and straight, light yellow 6 or 7 radial spines, 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.

Ferocactus glaucescens - Blue Barrel Cactus

How to Grow and Care

Choose a planting location that receives direct sun during all or most of the day. Water the cactus at the time of planting to anchor it into the soil. Plant your Barrel 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.


Native to eastern Central Mexico.


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