Scientific: Echinocactus grusonii
Common: golden barrel cactus
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Mexico

Pronounciation: E-ki-no-CAC-tus gru-so-NEE-i

Hardiness zones
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Textural and color accent, desert gardens, very interesting when planted in groups of three or more underneath the light canopy shade of desert trees, nice for use in patio containers

Form & Character: Rounded, bright, cheerful...but don't touch me!

Growth Habit: Rounded barrel cactus to 3 feet high by 2.5 feet wide, ribs 21 to 37, occasionally branching.

Foliage/Texture: Stiff yellow spines on ridges in clusters, epidermis medium to light green; coarse texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Terminal yellow flowers, not showy because they are the same color as the apical meristem and areole spines, fruit 3/4 inch long.

Seasonal Color: Not much except yellow spines all year and small, terminal yellow flowers in May.

Temperature: Protect from hard freezes. And as the torrid summer of 2020 revealed, golden barrel cacti in full sun will melt like "the wicked witch of the west" when in full sun and air temperatures are in excess of 118oF.

Light: Full sun to light shade, but avoid highly reflected light environments and western building exposures.

Soil: All soil types, as long as well drained.

Watering: Very infrequent.

Pruning: None

Propagation: Division of branched segments or seed.

Disease and pests: Root rot in poorly drained soils.

Additional comments: Golden barrels are excellent small barrel cacti! They transplant easily (wear thick leather gloves). Golden barrel cactus are great for small- and medium-sized rock gardens with filtered western shade. There is a crested form of golden barrel cactus that looks like brains.