Virginia Tech Dendrology

barrel cactus Cactaceae Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britton & Rose Listen to the Latin symbol: FEWI
Leaf: Reduced to a spine, up to 2 1/2 inches, displayed in dense vertical rows along the bark ridges, areole clusters of 4 large spines (one hooked and thick) and up to 20 axillary spines.
Flower: Attractive, yellow to red, 3 inches across, near the tip of the cactus, blooming late summer.
Fruit: A cylindrical to oval berry, 1 1/2 inches, yellow, dry relative to other cacti, resembling a pineapple.
Bark: A green, leathery thick skin with 25 prominent vertical ridges.
Form: One unbranched stout stem up to 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, but more commonly to 6 feet and 2 feet wide.
leaf fruit bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Ferocactus wislizeni is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting barrel cactus.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson