Echinocactus grusonii

Accession Count: 227
Common Name: Golden Barrel
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Family Name: Cactaceae
Botanical Name: Echinocactus grusonii
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics: Echinocactus grusonii is a slow growing, globose, spiny succulent with light green skin, which can grow up to three feet tall (1, 3, 6, 7). Plants which are older than a few years will be symmetrically ribbed, with 21 to 37 ribs per cactus. The golden barrel's spines are yellow, and one to two inches long, arranged in evenly spaced clusters along the ribs (1, 2, 6, 7). The central spines of the golden barrel are two to four inches long. E. grusonii can take up to 20 years to fully mature, (1, 6, 7) and most cultivated plants will not reach full size (7). In summer, mature golden barrels will sprout yellow flowers on top, followed by brown fruits (1, 6, 7)
Compound: Ech gru
Geographic Origin: Mexico
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History: Since the early 20th century, the E. grusonii has been widely sought after as a landscaping plant, to the point of severe species reduction in its native environment, the Chihuahuan desert. Today, the golden barrel cactus is found all around the world in nurseries and botanical gardens, but is still endangered in the wild due to illegal poaching of mature plants (2).
Cultivation Notes: In general, the golden barrel is very low maintenance. It can be watered approximately once monthly, but the soil should have plenty of time to dry out in between waterings (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). When watering, take care not to wet the plant itself as this may cause burning or scars (5). During winter, this cactus should be watered very infrequently (1, 3, 7). E. grusonii should be planted in full sun. Hardy to 10°F.
Ethnobotany: In landscapes, E. grusonii can be planted as an accent plant, a patio plant, or in a container. Often, it is planted with other golden barrels of varying sizes in a large, dense group.  

Height: 0 - 5 feet
Width: 0 - 5 feet
Growth Rate: Slow Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Summer
Color: Yellow
Function: Patio
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Low water Use

Citations:
1. House Plants Expert
2. IUCN Red List
3. Encyclopedia of Life
4. American Southwest
5. Encyclopedia of Living Forms
6. Plants Rescue
7. World of Succulents
8. Anderson, Edward F. The Cactus Family. 1st ed., Timber Press Incorporated, 2001. 
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Echinocactus grusonii