Interesting Garden Barrel Cactus Plants

Interesting Garden Barrel Cactus Plants

Barrel cactus plants are beautiful and interesting additions to any gardens. Barrel cactus plants are the common name for the cactus species of the genus Ferocactus.  There are from 25 to 30 species of barrel cactus belonging to the Ferocactus genus and six species in the Echinocactus genus. The two groups have much the same growth habits and appearance, and both are found in the southwestern U.S. and in Mexico. Cacti in these groups generally share the stereotypical barrel shape, though some are round or grow in clumps. Barrel cactus plants range in height from less than 1 foot (about 30 cm) to 12 feet (about 3.5 meters) and most have a pleated surface. Barrel cacti are known for their formidable spines, which range in length from 2 inches to 10 inches (about 5 cm to 25 cm). The spines, which can be straight or hooked, are white, yellow, brown or a brilliant red. Barrel cactus flowers are stiff and funnel-shaped. The flowers, which grow from the top of the cactus, come in varying shades of white, yellow, red and purple.

Barrel cactus plants are characterized by their ribbed, cylindrical shape. The cacti come in many sizes and may be low and squat or as tall as 10 feet in height. The barrel cactus cares for lost travelers in the desert because it habitually grows tilted to the southwest. Caring for barrel cactus is quite easy and it makes a great plant for the beginning gardener. Site, water, soil and container are the key to how to grow barrel cactus.

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