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Echinocactus grusonii

Echinocactus grusonii Hildm.

 

Golden Barrel, Golden Ball, Mother-in-law’s Cushion, Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrell Cactus

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyCactaceaeSucculent (water-storing) plants, often spiny
GenusEchinocactusFrom echinos, “hedgehog or spine,” and cactus
SpeciesgrusoniiNamed for industrialist and plant collector Hermann Gruson, founder of the Gruson-Gewächshäuser Magdeburg Exotische Pflanzensammlung botanical garden

About plant names...

Golden barrel cactus is native to Mexico. Although very popular in cultivation, this cactus is rare and critically endangered in the wild. In 1990, most of the few remaining plants were to be flooded as part of a dam project in the Rio Moctezuma Valley in Mexico. A Mexican botanical garden scrambled to relocate as many plants as possible, and this conservation project led to their cultivation.

Identification: Golden barrels are 8-51" (20-130 cm) high, and 16-31" (40-80 cm) in diameter. Each globe has 21-37 ribs. Spines are in groups of 8-10, up to 1" (3 cm) long. The yellow spines provide a golden sheen. Small yellow flowers appear on the top. Greenish fruits, round or slightly oval, are ⅜-¾" (1.2-2 cm) long.

References:

Anderson, Edward F., The Cactus Family, Timber Press, 2001, p. 227

Online References:

Echinocactus grusonii on Wikipedia

Echinocactus grusonii as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension

Echinocactus grusonii on Desert-tropicals.com

Echinocactus grusonii on Cactus Art: the World of Cacti & Succulents

Echinocactus grusonii on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Echinocactus grusonii description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel, Golden Ball, Mother-in-law’s Cushion, Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrell Cactus)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
≈ 22 × 15" (57 × 38 cm)

Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel, Golden Ball, Mother-in-law’s Cushion, Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrell Cactus)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm)

Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel, Golden Ball, Mother-in-law’s Cushion, Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrell Cactus)

The golden barrels are on the left. · 4/11/1979 · Huntington Library Cactus Gardens, San Marino, CA

Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel, Golden Ball, Mother-in-law’s Cushion, Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrell Cactus)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
≈ 4½ × 7' (1.5 × 2.2 m)

Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel, Golden Ball, Mother-in-law’s Cushion, Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrell Cactus)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
≈ 3½ × 2½' (1.1 × 0.7 m)

Range: Zones 9a-11:

About this map...