AZ Arboretums

Echinocactus grusonii

Desert zinnia

Common: Golden barrel cactus
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Native to southwestern United States and Mexico
Sunset Zone: 12-24
Temperature: Needs protection from hard frosts
Light: Some summer shade in hottest desert
Soil: Sandy and poor soil types
Water: Water every two weeks during summer

Used in cactus gardens and as accent plant. Rock gardens. Exotic look.

Large cylindrical cacti with prominent ribs and thorns. Grows very slowly to a height of 2-4 ft. and to 2-1/2 ft. wide. Golden yellow 7" spines on ribs. Yellow flowers in spring followed by small rounded to oblong yellow fruits.

Introduced into cultivation from Mexico, the golden barrel cactus is distinguished by a large round or barrel shape that is covered with menacing spikes with a tuft of yellow hair on top.

Echinocactus is derived from the Greek word, echinos, meaning hedgehog. Unfortunately, the golden barrel cactus has been over-collected to the point of endangering their survival in the wild.