Ferocactus glaucescens can be a very neat, compact and attractive addition to any collection. This Blue Barrel Cactus can reach up to 22 inches tall (55 cm), 20 inches across (50 cm)

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Ferocactus glaucescens

FamilyCactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific nameFerocactus glaucescens (DC.) Britton & Rose

Etymology:

OriginEastern central MexicoHidalgo (Meztitlan, Toliman and Jacala)

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Habitatnative to the limestone hills of HidalgoMexicoThis species is found within the numerous limestone hills and boulders at several locations in the state of HidalgoMexico. It has been noted to favor the more northern slopes, and the plants are well associated with the rocky, juniper woodland community, up to around 1200 m in elevation.

Common English Namesglaucous barrel cactusBlue Barrel Cactus

SynonymsBisnaga glaucescens; Echinocactus glaucescens; Echinocactus pfeifferi; Ferocactus pfeifferi



 

]Picture was taken from cactus-art.biz

 

Ferocactus glaucescens from my collection

The glaucous (blue grey-green) appearance of this barrel with the nice light golden spines makes it very easy to identify.

This Ferocactus stands out from the other species. The spines are rather neatly distributed, and the unusual-looking white fruits are unmistakable. Though it can reach over 45 cm in diameter. It can be a very neat, compact and attractive addition to any collection.

Description: It is a spherical or cyclindrical cactus growing to 60 cm (24 in) in diameter, with long yellow spines and yellow flowers in summer.Solitary or basally suckering, barrel cactus. Multiple heads are produced as the plant ages and can form a very large mound.

Stem:. Glaucous grey, up to 55 cm in height50 cm in diameter. Globular depressed at the apex, it becomes shortly columnar as it ages.

Roots:

Ribs: 11 to 15

Areoles:

Spines: 

Radial spines: 6 or 7, 2.5-4 cm long, straight, light yellow.

Central spine(s): 0 or 1, very similar to the radials.

Roots:

Flowers: Lemon yellow, funnel-shaped, 3-4 cm in diameter. The tepals are oblong, lanceolate, silky, shining the margins are finely fringed. Stamen, style and stigma are yellow. Stigma lobes: 12-15.

Bloom time:. Late spring and summer. The flowers last a very long time. The plants start flowering when about 13 cm in diameter.

Fruit: White, 2 cm long with the remnants of the flowers attached.

Seeds:

Sun ExposureSun to Partial Shade

Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F); USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F); USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F); USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Frost Tolerance: Will take some frost

Heat Tolerance: 

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Watering Needs:

Cultivation: Plants are slow growing to start, but are easy to grow and require little care once they have reached a nice flowering size. F. glaucescens is suited for any rich, well drained soil in full sun, through-out the year. Pot culture: It grows best in a fairly roomy, well-drained container filled with a porous cactus soil mixture that doesn't contain too much humus.  To insure robust plants, water and fertilize during the aestival growth cycle.  This plant needs plenty of water (indicatively, about once a week) But it's necessary to avoid wetting the bodies of these plants while they are in sunlight. A wet cactus in the sun light can cause sun burning which can lead to scars, or even fungal infections and death.  In winter keep completely dry at 10°C.  This usually aids in maintaining a healthier plant, but it can tolerate sporadic light frost.

Propagation: Seeds are the typical way of reproducing. These cacti will easily grow from seeds and some from cuttings. Seeds can be sown in the spring or summer in well-drained pots of soil for cacti Sow the seeds thinly on top. Cover them with a bit of fine quartz grit. Moisten and lay a piece of glass across the top. The pots should be set in a warm greenhouse until they start to sprout, after which the glass should be progressively removed so they can receive full light and air.  It isn't good to keep the glass over the seedlings. The  well developed seedlings can be planted separately in small pots. 

Cuttings made from pieces of the stem of any size can be detached and laid aside for a few days to allow a protective "skin" to form over the cut. They can then be planted in pots. Place them in a spot where they'll receive sun, and do not water until the soil becomes fairly dry. After a while the soil can be moistened regularly, but never kept constantly saturated.

Notes: It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[1]

To qualify for an AGM, a plant: must be available; must be of outstanding excellence for garden decoration or use; must be of good constitution; must not require highly specialist growing conditions or care; must not be particularly susceptible to any pest or disease; must not be subject to an unreasonable degree of reversion


 

Ferocactus glaucescens Blue Barrel Cactus

This Ferocactus stands out from the other species. The spines are rather neatly distributed, and the unusual-looking white fruits are unmistakable