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  Ferocactus wislizenii CACTUS ART

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of Cacti and Succulents.

Ferocactus wislizenii

The 6 cm wide flowers have numerous narrow tepals and are followed by edible, but sour yellow fruits.

The beautiful spines that hook around can graph you if you get too close.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Ferocactus peninsulae/wislizenii  complex (This Taxon has various synonyms ( like many other cacti) whit several controversial varieties and subspecies and comprises a multitude of different forms, but where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics):

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

Photo gallery Ferocactus



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name: Ferocactus
wislizenii (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose

Origin: South-eastern Arizona from Maricopa and Pima to Greenlee and Cochise counties, east to southern New Mexico from Hidalgo County to southwestern Lincoln County, and in El Paso County, Texas. It is also found in Mexico to Sinaloa and Chihuahua.

Habitat: It grows primarily in desert shrub and grasslands in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, but also in shrub-steppe, Chaparral, mountain shrub, pinyon-juniper open forest and deserts often on gritty, rocky or sandy soils on the hill-sides from 300 to 1,600 m elevation. It gets lots of water in two months and lots of sun all year. Some species generally associated with barrel cactus include prickly Opuntia spp., Acacia spp., ocotillo (Fouqueria splendens), Yucca spp. and saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea).

Common English Names include: Fishhook barrel cactus, Candy Barrelcactus, Barrel Cactus

Synonyms: Echinocactus wislizenii Engelmann

Taxonomy note: F. tiburonensis (G. E. Lindsay) along whit the allopatric species   F. herrerae (J. G. Ortega) are often cited as varieties of F. wislizeni by some botanists.

Description: The Ferocactus wislizenii is a barrel shaped or columar cactus that stay usually a single column; rare specimens may be multiple. Life span has been reported to be from 50 to 130 years. This barrel-shaped cactus leans to face southward.
Stem: Cylindrical, 45-80 cm in diameter, up to 2 m tall, rare specimens to 3 (or more) m high.
Ribs: 20-28 sharp ribs, occasionally spiralled. The ribs appears like accordion pleats on the body of the plant. With abundant moisture the pleats are less pronounced, but they become deeper as the cactus uses its reserves of water during drought.
Spines: The spines are dense, somewhat obscuring the surface of the stem, the number of spines varies depending on the plant maturity.
Central spines: 3 to 4 (or more) reddish to grey, the larger ones 3.8-5.0 cm long, at least one flattened, larger, curved inward and hooked, spines will be thinner when grown in shade. The spines have cross-ridging on their flattened surface
Radial spines: 12 to 20 bristle-like up to 4.5 cm in length.
Root: The root system of barrel cactus is shallow and
confined to the upper soil layers. Usually a main anchoring root extended down to about 20 cm and had several short laterals. Horizontal roots originated from the root crown are very shallow. Depth of burial decreased with distance from the plant and ranged from 1.5 to 3.0 cm.
Flowers: Its flowers colour is always firey orange-yellow with reddish midribs and brown tips. About 5- 7 cm long.
Flowers form on growth of the current season in circle around top of plant (around meristem).
Blooming season: Sporadically in late spring and profusely in summer and early autumn.
Fruit: Fleshy at maturity, pineapple-shaped, yellowish green
up to 5 cm long, persistent; favorite food of wildlife.


Cultivation:  Use very draining soil, water during the aestival growth cycle (this plant need plenty of water) But needs to be avoided  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 scares or even fungal infections and death. Needs full sun. Keep dry at 10C in winter, but can tolerate sporadic light frost.

Reproduction: Seeds are the only way of reproducing.

Uses: The fruits of this plant are edible, and in the past, the seeds have been used to make flour. Native Americans have also used barrel cactus pulp for making jelly and cactus candy.

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.