Barrel cactus (Ferocactus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Bisnaga
Give a thumbs up Barrel cactus

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Fruit: Dehiscent
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth


Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on May 24, 2019 3:28 PM

The about 30 species of Ferocacti are called barrel cacti or biznagas (also spelled bisnagas). Ferocactus is similar to Echinocactus (also referred to as barrel cactus or biznaga), which can generally be differentiated by its densely wooly stem tips. Ferocactus plants are spiny and globose to cylindrical, occasionally clustering, especially so with one species (F. robustus). Bisexual flowers have scales, generally appear on young areoles in spring and summer, and are pollinated by bees; stamens are separated from the perianth by a ring of hairs.

Found in the southwestern US and central Mexico, and especially the peninsula of Baja California, which is home to several species. Divided into two sections: Ferocactus (dry fruits which dehisce at the base) and Bisnaga (juicy, fleshy fruits which may or may not dehisce). DNA analysis has placed this genus close to Echinocactus but distant from the columnar cacti. Propagated from seed. Generally slow growing.

Among the most common plants in cultivation are two which may be self-fertile: F. latispinus, a green plant with flat, red, ribbed and hooked spines; and F. glaucescens, a glaucous blue-green plant with straight yellow spines and sharply defined ribs.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Is this ID correct? by plantmanager Feb 12, 2016 10:41 AM 25
Is this correct? by plantmanager Jan 7, 2016 4:34 PM 10
Sure of ID? by mcvansoest Sep 16, 2019 9:21 PM 2
Cactus ID by succulentlife Oct 1, 2019 2:51 PM 12
Cacti ID and cold hardiness. by BennyUK Sep 11, 2019 10:25 AM 4
All things Mammillaria chat!!! by mcvansoest Oct 21, 2019 6:32 PM 96
ID please? by toby_ax Aug 14, 2019 5:39 PM 2
Saving & Rescuing Melocactus matanzanus by jamesicus Aug 13, 2019 12:33 PM 24
Any cold-hardy cacti/succulents besides opuntia? by Klara333 Aug 24, 2019 1:17 PM 23
Cacti ID please by Klara333 Aug 5, 2019 12:49 PM 7
Is my cactus healthy? by coolmom1016 Aug 2, 2019 5:52 AM 8
Help cactus browning at base by Megatron Jul 21, 2019 2:51 PM 11
New arrivals from Spain, help with IDs? I spot some Parodias and Gymnocalycium by rice1811 May 28, 2019 8:55 AM 9

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