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Ferocactus latispinus

 FamilyCactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific nameFerocactus latispinus  (Haworth) Britton & Rose, 
The Cactaceae; descriptions and illustrations of plants of the cactus family 3: 143-144, pl. 16, f. 3, 1922                                                                                      Two subspecies are recognised, differing in their number of radial spines – 9–15 for subspecies latispinus and 5–7 for spiralis.

Etymology: The species name is derived from the Latin latus "broad", and spinus "spine".

OriginThe species is endemic to Mexico; the more widely distributed subspecies latispinus ranges from southeastern Durango, through ZacatecasAguascalientes, east to the western parts of San Luis PotosíHidalgo and Puebla, as well as to eastern JaliscoGuanajuatoQuerétaro and Mexico State. Subspecies spiralis is restricted to the southern parts of Oaxaca and Puebla.[1]

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.


 Photo and © copyright by Andrea B. (Bologna, Italy) http://www.cactusfriends.com/Andrea/index.html  

Ferocactus latispinus from my collection

F. latispinus has bright purple flowers in winter, providing a welcome burst of color at a time of year when not many cacti are in bloom. 

Description: F. latispinus is a modest-sized ball-shaped or flat-topped barrel cactus, which normally remains a solitary plant, without dividing or producing offsets. Ferocactus latispinus grows as a single globular light green cactus reaching the dimensions of 30 cm (12 in) in height and 40 cm (16 in) across, with 21 acute ribs. Its spines range from reddish to white in colour and are flattened and reach 4 or 5 cm long. Flowering is in late autumn or early winter.[2] The funnel-shaped flowers are purplish or yellowish and reach 4 cm long, and are followed by oval-shaped scaled fruit which reach 2.5 cm (1 in) long.[1] 

The 'latispinus' subspecies has 9-15 radial spines that range from thin & white to dark and stout, and is most prevalent.

The 'spiralis' subspecies has 5-7 stout radial spines.

Stem:. Flattened to spherical (in cultivation), diameter 25 to 45 cm35 cm tall, most often wider than tall.


Ribs: 13 to 23 ribs, sharp



Radial spines: 6-12 up to 2,5cm long, spreading out , smaller, translucent yellow to reddish  straight that have almost no width at all.

Central spine(s):


Flowers: Beautiful “glassy” rich-purple to straw-yellow, up to 6 cm long and 3cm broad. The funnel-shaped flowers are purplish or yellowish and reach 4 cm long,

Bloom time:. Flowering is in late autumn or early winter, usually in October, but it usually flowers only if the weather is warm and sunny ( need a fair amount of bright sunlight to form) This species blooms very early, many young plants will bloom when they reach 10 cm in diameter. It might be noted that this is not true of the closely related F. latispinus ssp. spiralis (syn. F. recurvus);

Fruit:.oval-shaped scaled fruit which reach 2.5 cm (1 in) long.[1]


Sun ExposureFull sun

Recommended Temperature Zone: 9b-11

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 25°F (-4°C)

Heat Tolerance:

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Watering Needs: Little to moderate water when established

Cultivation: Slow growing to start but does well under cultivation Use very draining soil, water during the aestival growth cycle (this plant need plenty of water) But needs to be avoided  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 scares or even fungal infections and death. 

Needs full sun. Keep dry at 10°C in winter, but can tolerate sporadic light frost.

Propagation: Seeds are the only way of reproducing.

Notes: Originally described as Cactus latispinus in 1824 by English naturalist Adrian Hardy Haworth, it gained its current name in 1922 with the erection of the genus Ferocactus by American botanists Britton and Rose.

USE: The "Candy cactus" is used to make sweets. The middle is cored out and soaked in sugar, then chopped up and eaten.

 Ferocactus latispinus Growing rare cacti from seeds.Beautiful cacti rare cacti exotic cactus forms. Rare Cactus description, special conditions to raise  rare cacti from seeds  


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