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Care of the plant Ferocactus cylindraceus or California barrel cactus.

Care of the cactus Ferocactus cylindraceus or California barrel cactus

The genus Ferocactus, family Cactaceae, comprises 30 species of large cacti native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. Some species are: Ferocactus cylindraceus, Ferocactus alamosanus, Ferocactus histrix, Ferocactus latispinus, Ferocactus schwarzii, Ferocactus hamatacanthus, Ferocactus emoryi, Ferocactus gracilis, Ferocactus glaucescens, Ferocactus stainesii, Ferocactus peninsulae, Ferocactus robustus, Ferocactus flavovirens, Ferocactus wislizenii.

Common names: Spiny Barrel Cactus, Le Conte Barrel Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Golden-spined Barrel Cactus, Desert Barrel Cactus, Cliff Barrel Cactus, Compass Barrel Cactus, Golden-Spined Barrel, Desert Barrel, California Barrel Cactus, Cliff Barrel, Compass Barrel, Compass Cactus. This species is native to southern of United States and Mexico.

They are large solitary cacti (sometimes they produce suckers) with a globose body in their youth that become cylindrical with age and reach 3 meters (9.84 feet) in height. They have 20-30 slightly wavy ribs. In the oval areolas they have 15-25 radial spines and 5-15 long (up to 15 cm/5.9") and flat central spines that can be red, white or yellow. The flowers reach 6 cm (2.36") in diameter and are yellow with red tones.

Young specimens are used in pots and planters for terraces, patios or balconies; adult cacti are used in rockery and dry slopes in frost-free Mediterranean gardens.

The Ferocactus cylindraceus needs full sun exposure and a hot, dry climate. They resist light frosts but it is better that the temperature is not lower than 3 ºC (37.4 ºF).

The soil can be a mixture of 1/2 leaf mulch or heather soil and 1/2 coarse sand with lapilli. Transplant in early spring every 4-5 years given its slow growth.

Water moderately from spring to mid-fall, waiting until the substrate has completely dried. Do not water from late fall to early spring.

They do not need fertilizers or pruning.

They do not present problems of plagues or diseases if there is not excess humidity.

They propagate from seeds but it's a slow and not very simple process.

Images of the cactus Ferocactus cylindraceus or California barrel cactus

Ferocactus cylindraceus
Ferocactus cylindraceus