Echinocactus is a genus of large barrel-shaped cacti, usually with large spines and small flowers. The generic name derives from the Ancient Greek εχινος echino- "spiny" and cactus. Other types of Barrel Cactus are assigned to genus Ferocactus.

Additional species used to be included in the genus but now the number is reduced to six. They thrive on plenty of sun.

Perhaps the best known species is Echinocactus grusonii from Mexico, which is popularly known as the Golden Barrel Cactus, an easy-to-grow and widely cultivated plant.Selected species


The following genera are considered synonyms to Echinocactus:


  • Innes C, Wall B (1995). Cacti, Succulents and Bromeliads. Cassell & The Royal Horticultural Society.
  • The species list is referenced from which is in turn referenced from several books which are listed on that site. The principal book listed there is The Cactus Family by Edward F. Anderson, (2001).

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