Scientific: Ferocactus pilosus
Common: Mexican lime cactus
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Endemic to Mexico, occurs on rocky limestone hillsides in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas at elevation up to 8,000 feet (Mexican altiplano).

Pronounciation: Fare-o-CAC-tus pie-LOW-sus

Hardiness zones
USDA 9-11 (arid zones only)

Landscape Use: Accent cacti for xeric landscapes, individually or in groups, desert gardens, containers.

Form & Character: These are stout, slowly-clumping columnar cacti that like other Ferocactus species evoke feelings of solitary and loneliness.

Growth Habit: Stout, short, slow-growing and long-lived columnar cactus eventually to 6 to 10 feet by 1.5 feet wide, will sometimes branch at the base. The fluted ribs of both species tend to revolve about elongating stem trunk.

Foliage/Texture: Mexican lime cactus has stiff bright reddish spines, 8 to 10 at each aerole; VERY coarse texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Mexican lime cacti have ringed clusters of small cup-shaped red flowers at the terminal meristem, edible. Flowering is followed by development of yellow, oval-shaped, scaly fruit, generally fleshy and indehiscent to 3/4 inch long at the apex of the barrel.

Seasonal Color: Flowers provide a subtle visual accent during the early summer heat of May.

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Perfers a light filtered shade in Phoenix or other lower desert locations.

Soil: In urban landscape soils with limited topography (slope), Mexican lime cacti require a well-drained soil.

Watering: None

Pruning: None

Propagation: Seed

Disease and pests: Root rot in poorly drained soils.

Additional comments: Mexican lime cactus are easily transplanted and are a spectacular columnar cacti for rock gardens and desert landscape themes.

The genus name Ferrocactus is from the Latin 'ferox' which means ferocious.