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Fishook Barrel, Candy Barrel Cactus

Ferocactus wislizeni

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Cactus, succulent, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun
Pollinators Bees
Has Spines Yes
Size
In relative feet, width by height
3-6'+ × 2-4'
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season July-September
Flower Color Orange often striped (sometimes yellow or red)
Minimum Temperature Range 5-10 °F
Leaf Description Spines
Fruit Yellow, filled with a juicy pulp and abundant black seeds. Fruit has a slightly bitter flavor
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Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 1000-5000 ft.
Ethnobotany The top of the cactus was lopped off and the interior pulp was crushed as a source of water in extreme circumstances; the seeds were parched, ground, and boiled into a mush; the spines were used as fish hooks by the Pima, and the fruit was made into a candy.
Description The primary barrel cactus of southeastern Arizona. This is the barrel cactus typically found in the vicinity of Tucson, east into New Mexico, south into Mexico, and northwest to near Phoenix. Fishhook barrel has large, curved central spines and abundant bristly radial spines and the plants can ultimately get up to 4' or rarely taller. This species grows from desert land up into grasslands, and is sometimes even found associated with oaks. This may be the most cold tolerant of the Arizona barrel cacti. The flowers appear with the monsoons, typically orange, sometimes red or yellow. These are followed by persistent, juicy, yellow fruits. Plant in warm locations with reflected heat in a mixed succulent garden.