Echinocactus grusonii Hildm.
Golden barrel, golden ball, mother-in-law’s cushion, golden barrel cactus
|Kingdom||Plantae||Plants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta||Vascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients|
|Division||Magnoliophyta||Flowering plants, also known as angiosperms|
|Class||Magnoliopsida||Dicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves|
|Subclass||Caryophyllidae||Cacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts|
|Order||Caryophyllales||Includes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants|
|Family||Cactaceae||Succulent (water-storing) plants, often spiny|
|Genus||Echinocactus||From echinos, “hedgehog or spine,” and cactus|
|Species||grusonii||Named for industrialist and plant collector Hermann Gruson, founder of the Gruson-Gewächshäuser Magdeburg Exotische Pflanzensammlung botanical garden|
About plant names...
Golden barrel cactus is native to Mexico. Although very popular in cultivation,
this cactus is rare and critically endangered in the wild. In 1990, most of the few remaining plants
were to be flooded as part of a dam project in the Rio Moctezuma Valley in Mexico. A
Mexican botanical garden scrambled to relocate as many plants as possible, and this
conservation project led to their cultivation.
Identification: Golden barrels are 8-51″ (20-130 cm) high, and
1-2½′ (40-80 cm) in diameter. Each globe has 21-37 ribs. Spines are in groups of 8-10, up to 1″ (3 cm)
long. The yellow spines provide a golden sheen. Small yellow flowers appear on the top. Greenish fruits, round or slightly oval, are ⅜-¾″ (1.2-2 cm) long.
Anderson, Edward F., The Cactus Family, Timber Press, 2001, p. 227
as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension
Cactus Art: the World of Cacti & Succulents
SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network
Echinocactus grusonii description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.
5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Arizona · ≈ 1½ × 1′ (57 × 38 cm)
4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland · ≈ 2 × 1′ (62 × 41 cm)
The golden barrels are on the left. · 4/11/1979 · Huntington Library Cactus Garden, San Marino, California
5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Arizona
5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Arizona · ≈ 3½ × 2½′ (110 × 73 cm)
Range: Zones 9a-11:
About this map...