Echinocactus grusonii 

(ee-chin' o-cac-tuss gruu-so' nee-ii)

Common name: Golden-barrel Cactus, Mother-in-law's Cushion

Family: Cactaceae, Cactus

Height x width: 2' x 3' (or less indoors)

Growth rate: slow

Shape: spherical, green, 20-40 ribs with sharp angles, yellow areoles with prominent golden spines (8-10 radials and 3-5 centrals), in outdoor habitats often found in groups or clumps

Flowers: bright yellow, bell-shaped, in circumferential rings, diurnal, on large plants

Light: full sun

Temperature: warm, cool 40-50ºF when inactive, mature plants withstand colder

Watering: moderate, keep dry when inactive with only light misting on warm days

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: dry

Soil: cactus

Pests and Problems: basal stem and soft rots, mealybugs on young plants

Growth habit, uses: desert garden, pots

Other interest: native to east central Mexico; from the Greek echinos meaning hedgehog, and Cactus, refering to its spiny nature; another genus much discussed taxonomically, originally in the 19th century including all barrel-shaped cacti with most assigned now to other genera, and now including other genera by some

Other culture: proper watering is crucial to avoid basal rots

Propagation: seeds


Of the about 15 species in this genus, this is by far the most popular and seen, and one of the most popular and known cacti overall.

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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