General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Awards and Recognitions: RHS AGM
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Common names
  • Fire Barrel Cactus
  • Biznaga

Photo Gallery
Location: Cataviña, Baja California
Date: 2010-04-03
Photo by mcvansoest
Location: Baja California
Date: 2022-11-24
A few years old, 4 inch pot
Location: Baja California
Date: 2010-04-01
Near Cataviña
Location: Cataviña, Baja California
Date: 2010-04-02
Location: Baja California
Date: 2005-12-31
Very long central spines
Location: Cataviña, Baja California
Date: 2017-12-30
Location: Cataviña, Baja California
Date: 2017-12-30
Location: Baja California
Date: 2021-11-01
Long ribbed, hooked central spine
Location: Desert Botanical Garden Phoenix Arizona
Date: 2016-01-04
Location: Cataviña, Baja California
Date: 2010-04-01

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Baja California
Date: 2010-04-03
Near Cataviña
Location: Baja California
Date: 2010-04-01
Near Cataviña
Location: Windowsill with 2 hrs. morning sun then 8 under SunBlaster light
Date: 2019-07-31
Only 2 weeks since sown some sprouts showing color
Location: Baja California
Date: 2010-04-02
Near Cataviña.  To quote the Black Knight from Monty Python: Tis
Location: San Matías, Baja California
Date: 2014-12-29
Location: Fairfax, VA | August 2022
Date: 2022-08-28
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on May 16, 2019 9:36 PM concerning plant:
    Dramatic red-spined Baja California endemic barrel cactus to 6 feet tall with up to 24 ribs and red flowers. Of the 7-13 central spines, the 4 main ones are flattened and arranged in a cross-like shape. Native to the central desert of Baja California, from San Matías through Cataviña to points south, plus islands in the mouth of Bahía de Los Angeles. The Vizcaino and southern central deserts are home to subsp. coloratus, with half the potential size and wider central spines. The island plants (subsp. gatesii) have narrower central spines.

    Often the dominant Ferocactus where it occurs in habitat. Exquisitely beautiful in bloom.

    Compare to the red-spined Ferocactus pilosus from north-central mainland Mexico, which has fewer, better defined, non-tuberculate ribs and less gnarly spines (and may also have yellow spines and flowers).
Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Fire Barrel Cactus by _Bleu_ Jan 23, 2019 2:47 PM 5

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