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Scientific: Echinocactus horizonthalonius
Common: Turk's head cactus, blue barrel cactus, devilshead, eagle's claw, horse maimer, horse crippler
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Arizona and New Mexico 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: Oblong to rounded, interesting, small and diminuative, intersting and inviting...but don't touch!

Growth Habit: Evergreen, succulent perennial, very slowly expanding barrel-shaped central stem to 2-feet tall 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: Wonderfully brilliant, iridescent, terminal magenta pink flowers (sometimes white or whitish pink), 3- to 4-inches wide, very showy; fruits 1/2-inch long, reddish, wooly, mostly inconspicuous.

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

Temperature: Cold tolerant, but quite heat senstive to air temperatures above 115oF, especially if in full sunlight.

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

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

Watering: Very infrequent allowing soil to fully dry in between waterings. Be careful to not overwater.

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 (Echinocactus 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.

Taxonomic factoid: Some taxonomist recognize four distinct clinal variants of Echinocactus horizonthalonius: