Barrel Cactus, Palm Desert Living Museum

Barrel Cactus, Palm Desert Living Museum

Barrel Cactus, Palm Desert Living Museum  easily reach over 1 metre (3.3 ft) in height at maturity.   They have been known to reach 3 metres (9.8 ft) in some regions. The ribs are numerous and pronounced.  The spines are long and can range in color from yellow to tan to red, depending on the age of the plant and the species. Flowers appear at the top of the plant only after many years.

Barrel cactus buds typically start to bloom in April with a bright yellow or orange flower. Pink and red varieties also exist but occur less frequently. The flowers only appear on the very top of the plant. As the flowers begin to wilt in early May, they may change color. A late summer desert rainstorm can produce a late bloomer in the mid summer season.

There may be up to 35 pronounced ribs in mature plants, though they are not evident in young plants, which may have a knobbly appearance. The sharp spines are long, straight or slightly curved.  The flowers can come in various shades of yellow or, occasionally, white.

Echinocactus grusonii, popularly known as the golden barrel cactus, golden ball or, amusingly, mother-in-law’s cushion, is a well known species of cactus, and is endemic to east-central Mexico.

One should approach a barrel cactus with extreme caution. A puncture to human skin from one of the spines is considered a dirty wound. If the puncture is deep enough to draw blood, antibiotics may be needed; and could take up to several months for the wound to heal properly. Barrel cactus plants are one of the more dangerous cacti to humans in the desert.[1]

My photograph is only representational of a barrel cactus as I have flipped it 180 degrees and converted it to black and white.

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  • Other sizes are available upon request. Please contact Wendy M. Seagren
  • Each print is hand signed by the artist, Wendy M. Seagren.
  • The temporary rights for usage of a photo is available for purchase. Contact Wendy M. Seagren.