Echinocactus acanthodes Lem.
Echinocactus cylindraceus Engelm.
Echinocactus orcuttii Engelm. ex Orcutt
Echinocactus viridescens Torr. & A.Gray
Ferocactus acanthodes (Lem.) Britton & Rose
Ferocactus californicus (Monv. ex Labour.) Borg
Ferocactus orcuttii (Engelm. ex Orcutt) Britton & Rose
Melocactus viridescens (Torr. & A.Gray) Nutt. ex Teschem.
Common Name: Barrel Cactus
Ferocactus viridescens is a spiny, succulent, evergreen, barrel cactus, producing a single, globose to cylindrical stem that is usually around 10 - 20cm tall, though it can reach 45cm, and 10 - 35cm in diameter[
At first nearly globose or somewhat depressed, in age becoming cylindric, 30 to
45 cm. high, 25 to 35 cm. in diameter, simple or cespitóse
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is grown as an ornamental.
Ferocactus viridescens has a wide range and, even though there is some decrease in the population (including urban expansion, conversion of habitat to agriculture and illegal collection of the plants for horticulture), this is not currently sufficient to warrant listing in a threatened category. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2017)[
Southwest N. America - southern California, northwest Mexico (Baja California)
Seacost bluffs, shrubland/chaparral, grasslands, in sandy or gravelly soils of hillsides; at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|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[
Fruit - raw. A pleasant acid taste[
]. The small oblong fruits are eaten raw or cooked, and can be dried for later use[
]. The reddish fruit is around 16 - 20mm long[
]. The red, becoming yellow fruit is up to 35mm long[
The juice is fermented into an alcoholic beverage[
The pulp in the stem is eaten, The pulp is candied[
The liquid obtained by crushing the pulp inside the stem can be used as an emergency source of fluid[
]. It is said to be at least refreshing, though unpleasant and slimy to the taste[
The seeds are ground into a powder and eaten as a gruel or made into a cake[
Flower buds - cooked[
We have no specific information for this species, but members of this genus are a valuable resource in the dry regions where they are native, and they are often utilised by native peoples. These uses are likely to include:-
The plants have been used as cooking vessels. The interior is scooped out and mashed, and the liquid thus obtained replaced in the cavity and heated with hot stones, after which food is placed in the liquid and cooked[
Several species develop tough spines and, after straightening out the tips and reducing the thicker part, these can be used as toothpicks and needles for knitting stockings etc[