Ferocactus is a genus of large barrel-shaped cacti, mostly with large spines and small flowers. There are about 30 species included in the genus Ferocactus. They are found in south-western USA and north-western Mexico. The young specimen are columnar but as they grow older ribs form and they take on a barrel form. Most of the species are solitary but some, such as Ferocactus robustus and F. glaucescens form clumps. The flowers are pink, yellow, red or purple depending on the species, and the petals sometimes have a stripe of a darker colour. They are desert dwellers and can cope with some frost and intense heat. In cultivation they require full sun, and little water but good drainage. The propagation is usually from seeds.



Synonyms include Bisnaga Orcutt and Brittonia C.A.Armstr. (nom. inval.).


  • The species list is referenced in part from cactiguide.com 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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