Scientific: Echinocactus horizonthalonius
Common: Turk's head cactus, blue barrel cactus, devilshead, eagle's claw, horse maimer, horse crippler
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Southwestern United States south into central Mexico

Pronounciation: E-ki-no-CAC-tus hor-i-zon-tha-LON-i-us

Hardiness zones
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Textural and color accent, desert gardens, nice when planted in groups of three or more underneath the light canopy shade of desert trees, nice for use in patio containers or desert specimen container gardens for you cacti and succulent plant freaks.

Form & Character: Rounded, interesting, small and diminuative, inviting...but don't touch!

Growth Habit: Slow, rounded, barrel cactus to 2 feet high by 1.5 feet wide, coarsely ribbed, 5 to 13.

Foliage/Texture: Stiff, whitish pink, grey or brown spines on ridges in clusters of about 10 per aerole, 2 inches long, epidermis glaucous, apical meristem wooly white; coarse texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Brilliant, iridescent, terminal magenta pink flowers, 3 to 4 inches wide, very showy; fruit 1/2 inch long, reddish, wooly, mostly indistinct.

Seasonal Color: Flowers in May but then again sporadiacally toward the end of the North American monsoon season in late August and early September.

Temperature: Tolerant

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

Soil: Prefers rocky, coarse soil types, but will grow in most any soil so long as very well drained.

Watering: Very infrequent

Pruning: None

Propagation: Seed

Disease and pests: Root rot in poorly drained soils.

Additional comments: Turk's head cactus is an excellent small barrel cactus for desert display gardens! It transplants easily. Like its larger cousin, golden barrel cactus (E. grusonii), Turk's head cactus cactus is great for small- and medium-sized rock gardens and desert specimen container gardens in the lower Sonoran Desert with filtered or full western shade.

There are two distinct clinal variants of E. horizonthalonius. E. horizonthalonius var. nicholii (Nichol's turk's head cactus) is rare and is federally listed as an endangered species found its western range in south and eastern Arizona. The other is E. horizonthalonius var. horizonthalonius from its eastern range over a swath of Chihuahuan Desert habitats south into Mexico.