Echinocactus edulis Haage ex C.F.Först.
Echinocactus ghiesbreghtianus Lem.
Echinocactus grandis Rose
Echinocactus helophorus Lem.
Echinocactus ingens Zucc. ex Pfeiff.
Echinocactus irroratus Scheidw.
Echinocactus karwinskii Zucc. ex Pfeiff.
Echinocactus macracanthus de Vriese
Echinocactus minax Lem.
Echinocactus oligacanthus Mart. ex Pfeiff.
Echinocactus palmeri Rose
Echinocactus platyceras Lem.
Echinocactus saltillensis Poselg.
Echinocactus tuberculatus Link & Otto
Echinofossulocactus helophorus (Lem.) Lawr.
Echinofossulocactus karwinskianus Lawr.
Echinofossulocactus platyceras (Lem.) Lawr.
Melocactus ingens Karw. ex Pfeiff.
Melocactus platyacanthus Link & Otto
Melocactus tuberculatus Link & Otto
Echinocactus arachnoideus Scheidw.
Echinocactus aulacogonus Lem.
Common Name: Biznaga Burra
Echinocactus platyacanthus is a spiny, evergreen, succulent, barrel-shaped cactus with an often massive, globose to broadly columnar or barrel-shaped stem that can be 50 - 250cm tall and 40 - 80cm in diameter[
This species is probably one of the two most economically important barrel cacti growing in Mexico (the other is Ferocactus histrix (DC.) G.E.Linds.). The plant is widely exploited from the wild as a food and medicine, and is also removed from the wild to be grown as an ornamental. The flower buds are especially popular as a food, being sold in local markets, and there is a large industry making candy from the flesh of the stems. The importance of this species increases with the aridity of the land in which it grows and its inadequacy for agriculture[
Echinocactus platyacanthus is a wide spread but slow-growing species that is currently being exploited at unsustainable levels, and there are few young individuals in the population. There is a strong need for regulation on the use of this species for candy and livestock forage in order to ensure sustainable use levels. Further research is needed to understand the life history, demography, and impact of human use. Based upon current trends, this species will become threatened in near future without increased protections and enforcement. The plant is classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Southern N. America - northeastern to central Mexico (Nuevo León to Oaxaca)
Xerophyllous scrub, preferring calcareous soils; at elevations from 1,100 - 2,400 metres[
|Conservation Status||Near Threatened
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
In cultivation, Cactus plants generally will not succeed in moist climates. They usually require a sunny position in a well-drained, circumneutral soil and to be kept more or less dry in the dormant season[
Stem pulp - raw or cooked. It can be eaten in salads[
]. This species is used to make candy. Stem fragments are coated in sugar to make a candy called biznaga or acitrón[
]. Pulp from the huge stem is used to make a candy called 'acitrón' or 'dulce de viznaga' in southern Mexico[
The pulp of the stem of Echinocactus species can be used as an emergency supply of water for drinking. Native peoples had various methods of obtaining the water, one of the easiest is to simply squeeze the moisture out of the pulp and into a container by hand. The resulting liquid is at least refreshing, though unpleasant and slimy to the taste[
In some areas, this species is used medicinally.[
]. No more information.
The woolly hairs on the plant have been used as fibre for filling and weaving[
]. Known as 'lana de biznaga', (wool of the barrel cactus), it was harvested in quantity and used as padding, in making cordage, or in weaving articles such as blankets and vests[