|Ferocactus wislizeni subsp. var.||Fishhook Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus|
The fishhook barrel cactus typically grows to a diameter of roughly two feet and a height of three to six feet. However, specimens as wide as three feet and tall as ten feet have been recorded. The common name comes from the spines, which are thick and hooked. It has a leathery asparagus green cortex (skin) with approximately 15-28 ribs per cactus. Its flowers are yellow to red-orange and appear atop the cactus fruit during the summer months. The fruits are green when unripe, yellow after the flower dries up, and persist atop the cactus long after the flower is gone, sometimes for more than a year.
In adulthood, fishhook barrel cacti generally leans southward, toward the sun, earning it the nickname "compass barrel cactus." One theory about why this happens is, the afternoon sun is so intense it slows the growth on the exposed side, causing the plant to grow unevenly. Older barrel can lean so far they uproot themselves and fall over especially after heavy rains when the soil is loose. Its life cycle is 50-100 years.
In urban areas, the Fishhook Barrel is valued as an ornamental plant. It is drought tolerant and good for xeriscaping, and it is also a low-maintenance full-sun plant.
Pests and diseases
- ↑ Barrelcactus Cactacae Ferocactus wislizeni. USDA Fact Sheet.
- ↑ Mark A. Dimmitt. Cactaceae (cactus family). Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.