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  Ferocactus glaucescens
(Syn: Ferocactus pfeifferi)

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Ferocactus glaucescens
This Ferocactus stands out from the other species. The spines are rather neatly distributed
, and the unusual-looking white fruits are unmistakable. Though it can reach over 45 cm in diameter, it will nonetheless flower perfectly well in an 20 cm pot.  It can be a very neat, compact and attractive addition to any collection.

Description: Solitary or basally suckering, barrel cactus. Multiple heads are produced as the plant ages and can form a very large mound.
Stems: Glaucous grey
, up to 55 cm in height, 50 cm in diameter. Globular depressed at the apex, it becomes shortly columnar as it ages.
Ribs: 11 to 15
Radial spines: 6 or 7, 2.5-4 cm long, straight
, light yellow.
Central spines: 0 or 1
, very similar to the radials.
Flowers: Lemon yellow, funnel-shaped
, 3-4 cm in diameter. The tepals are oblong, lanceolate, silky, shining;  the margins are finely fringed. Stamen, style and stigma are yellow. Stigma lobes: 12-15.
Blooming season: Late spring and summer. The flowers last a very long time. The plants start flowering when about 13
cm in diameter.
Fruit: White, 2 cm long with the remnants of the flowers attached.


Cultivation: Plants are slow growing to start, but are easy to grow and require little care once they have reached a nice flowering size. F. glaucescens is suited for any rich, well drained soil in full sun, through-out the year. Pot culture: It grows best in a fairly roomy, well-drained container filled with a porous cactus soil mixture that doesn't contain too much humus.  To insure robust plants, water and fertilize during the aestival growth cycle.  This plant needs plenty of water (indicatively, about once a week).  But it's necessary to avoid wetting the bodies of these plants while they are in sunlight. A wet cactus in the sun light can cause sun burning which can lead to scars, or even fungal infections and death.  In winter keep completely dry at 10C.  This usually aids in maintaining a healthier plant, but it can tolerate sporadic light frost.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Ferocactus pottsii complex (This Taxon has lots of synonyms ( like many other cacti) whit controversial varieties and subspecies:

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery Ferocactus



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Ferocactus glaucescens (DC.) Britton & Rose

OriginEastern central Mexico, Hidalgo (Meztitlan, Toliman and Jacala)

Habitat: This species is found within the numerous limestone hills and boulders at several locations in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. It has been noted to favor the more northern slopes, and the plants are well associated with the rocky, juniper woodland community, up to around 1200 m in elevation.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common Name: Blue Barrel Cactus


  • Bisnaga glaucescens
  • Echinocactus glaucescens
  • Echinocactus  pfeifferi
  • Ferocactus pfeifferi

(This Taxon belong to a group of six closely allied species. The group is: F. alamosanus, F. pottsii, F. schwarzii, F. reppenhagenii, F. glaucescens, & F. echidne)



The glaucous (blue grey-green) appearance of this barrel with the nice light golden spines makes it very easy to identify.

Seeds are the typical way of reproducing. These cacti will easily grow from seeds and some from cuttings. Seeds can be sown in the spring or summer in well-drained pots of soil for cacti.  Sow the seeds thinly on top. Cover them with a bit of fine quartz grit. Moisten and lay a piece of glass across the top. The pots should be set in a warm greenhouse until they start to sprout, after which the glass should be progressively removed so they can receive full light and air.  It isn't good to keep the glass over the seedlings. The  well developed seedlings can be planted separately in small pots.
Cuttings made from pieces of the stem of any size can be detached and laid aside for a few days to allow a protective "skin" to form over the cut. They can then be planted in pots. Place them in a spot where they'll receive sun, and do not water until the soil becomes fairly dry. After a while the soil can be moistened regularly, but never kept constantly saturated.

A variegated seedling.

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.