General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 6a -23.3 °C (-10 °F) to -20.6 °C (-5 °F)
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Common names
  • Texas Barrel Cactus
  • Mexican Fruit Cactus
  • Biznaga de Tuna
  • Tobusch Fishhook Cactus
  • Turk's Head Barrel Cactus

Photo Gallery
Location: Draper, Utah, United States

Date: 2022-09-06
Location: South Jordan, Utah, United States
Date: 2019-02-03
Location: San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio, Texas
Date: 2022-04-04
Location: National Botanical Garden, DC, Virginia :) | May, 2022
Date: 2022-05-28
Location: National Botanical Garden (DC) | November 2022
Date: 2022-11-26

Photo Courtesy of Mountain Crest Gardens. Used with permission.
  • Uploaded by Joy
This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Feb 3, 2022 7:35 PM concerning plant:
    Solitary barrel cactus from the Chihuahuan Desert (mainly) with long, hooked central spines. Stems reach up to about 1 foot wide and 2 feet tall. 12-17 ribs; 4-8 curved to hooked, sometimes twisted central spines; 8-20 radial spines. Flowers are yellow, sometimes with red throats, up to about 3 inches wide.

    Two subspecies can be distinguished based on size, ribs, spines, flowers, and geographic origin. The type Ferocactus (Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. hamatacanthus) reaches 2 feet tall and has rounded, distinctly tubercular ribs, 4-8 central spines, and red-throated flowers. Mexican Fruit Cactus (Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. sinuatus) gets half as tall and has sharp ribs, 4 central spines, and completely yellow flowers. The type subspecies is found in NM, TX, and much of northern Mexico. Subspecies sinuatus is found only in the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) plain in SE Texas and adjacent parts of Mexico.

    This plant is used to harvest cabuches (buds) for human consumption.

    This species is distinct from the red-spined Ferocactus haematacanthus (one letter difference) from southern Mexico, whose name means "blood red spine" as opposed to "hooked spine". This other species was recently moved to Bisnaga.

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