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Echinocactus platyacanthus Link & Otto 1827

Biznaga de dulce, biznaga gigante, giant barrel cactus, giant biznaga, large barrel cactus

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyCactaceaeSucculent (water-storing) plants, often spiny
GenusEchinocactusFrom echinos, “hedgehog or spine,” and cactus
SpeciesplatyacanthusFrom Latin platy, "flat, broad or wide," and acanth, "spiny bush" (from Stearn's Botanical Latin)

About plant names...

Biznaga de dulce (roughly "sweet thorny cactus") is native to northern and central Mexico.

Identification: These cacti are generally spherical in shape, though they may appear more columnar or barrel-shaped. They reach 1½-8′ (50-250 cm) in height, and 1-2½′ (40-80 cm) in diameter. The number of ribs varies from as few as 5 to 60, with spine groups of 8-10, each 1-1½″ (3-4 cm) long. Spines are yellowish or reddish, darkening as they age. Multiple yellow flowers appear on the top of each cactus, each 1¾-2½″ (5-7 cm) in diameter. Dry, oval-shaped fruits are 1¾-2½″ (5-7 cm) long. The primary identifying feature is the large size.


Anderson, Edward F., The Cactus Family, Timber Press, 2001, p. 228

Online References:


Cactus Art: the World of Cacti & Succulents


Echinocactus karwinskii Zuccarini 1837

Echinocactus ingens Zuccarini ex Pfeiffer 1837

Echinocactus heliophorus Lemaire 1839

Echinocactus visnaga W. J. Hooker 1851

Echinocactus grandis Rose 1906

Echinocactus palmeri Rose 1909


Echinocactus platyacanthus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Echinocactus platyacanthus (biznaga de dulce, biznaga gigante, giant barrel cactus, giant biznaga, large barrel cactus)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Ari­zona · ≈ 2½ × 1½′ (82 × 55 cm)

Range: Zones 9b-11:

About this map...