The Ferocactus is a genus of spiny succulents

Image - Wikimedia / Chmee2 // Ferocactus townsendianus

Plants of the genus Ferocactus They are the most interesting when you want to have a beautiful rockery, a garden with plants from arid regions, or a curious collection of succulents. They are well known by the name of biznagas, and without a doubt they stand out for their thorns: strong, sharp and often of really beautiful colors.

Due to the size that they get to have once adults they are not very appropriate to grow in pots, at least not during their entire life. Now, when they are little they are so beautiful that for a short period of time they can be enjoyed in a container. But, Which are?

Characteristics of the Ferocactus

The Ferocactus are a genus belonging to the Cactaceae family, that is, to the cactus. They live in the deserts of California and Baja California, as well as some parts of Arizona, southern Nevada and especially Mexico. They tend to have globular bodies during their youth, but as they age they become somewhat columnar. Their ribs are very well distinguished, since they are very pronounced and are armed with spines, usually curved.

The flowers are bell-shaped, of colors that go from yellow to purple, and they sprout in spring-summer. The fruits are fleshy, about 3-5 centimeters long, and contain numerous small, dark, almost black seeds.

Main species

The genus is made up of some 29 accepted species, of which the most popular are the following:

Ferocactus acanthodes

View of the Ferocactus acanthodes

Image - Wikimedia / Dornenwolf

It is now known as Ferocactus cylindraceus. It is native to North America, and develops a globular stem with a diameter of up to 50 centimeters and a height of up to 3 meters. It has 18 to 27 ribs, with 4-7 central spines 5 to 15 centimeters long, and 15 to 25 radial spines. The flowers are funnel-shaped and yellow.

Ferocactus chrysacanthus

View of the Ferocactus chrysacanthus

Image - Wikimedia / Michael Wolf

El Ferocactus chrysacanthus It is a species native to North America that has a globular body when young and columnar once adult. It can reach a height of up to 1 meter by a diameter of 30-40 centimeters, with about 21 ribs. It has 10 flattened and curled radial spines, and a central hook-shaped. Its flowers are bell-shaped, and are red, yellow or orange.

Ferocactus emoryi

View of Ferocactus emoryi

Image - Wikimedia / Cliff

El Ferocactus emoryi It is a species native to Mexico. It has a cylindrical stem with a diameter of 1 meter and a height of 2,5 meters., with 15-30 ribs. It has 7-9 radial spines up to 6 centimeters long, and 1 central spine 4 to 10 centimeters long. The flowers are funnel-shaped, and of very diverse colors: red, yellow, mahogany or red and yellow.

Ferocactus glaucescens

View of the Ferocactus glaucescens

Image - Wikimedia / David J. Stang

El Ferocactus glaucescens It is a globular cactus native to Mexico. It can exceed 40 centimeters in height and diameter, but it is rare. Its body is a characteristic greyish green or even glaucous, which has 11-15 ribs from which 6 radial spines and one central spines emerge. As for the flowers, they are funnel-shaped and yellow.

Ferocactus gracilis

View of the Ferocactus gracilis

El Ferocactus gracilis It is a species native to Mexico. Its body can be spherical or cylindrical, which has 16-24 ribs, from which 7-12 central and 8-12 radial spines sprout. It can reach a size of 30 centimeters in diameter and a height of 150 centimeters. Its flowers are red.

Ferocactus hamatacanthus

View of the Ferocactus hamatacanthus

Image - Wikimedia / Amante Darmanin

El Ferocactus hamatacanthus It is a cactus plant native to Mexico. Reaches a height of 60 centimeters, and its body is globular, with 13-17 ribs. The radial spines appear 8-12 in number, ruby ​​in color when young, then brown and finally gray. As for the flowers, they are a beautiful yellow color.

Ferocactus herrerae

El Ferocactus herrerae it is an endemic species to Mexico and the southern United States. It has a globular body, with 13 ribs from which 7-9 central spines and some radial sprout. Its flowers are yellow. It can reach a height of 2 meters and a diameter of 50 centimeters.

Ferocactus histrix

View of the Ferocactus histrix

Image - Wikimedia / Dryas

El Ferocactus histrix is a popular globular cactus native to Mexico, which reaches a height of 60-150 centimeters and a diameter of 30-100 centimeters. In its adulthood it can have about 25 ribs, from which sprout radial spines with a length of 4 centimeters. The flowers are small and yellow.

Ferocactus latispinus

View of the Ferocactus latispinus

Image - Wikimedia / Amante Darmanin

El Ferocactus latispinus it is another species that grows wild in Mexico. Its body is globular, with the upper part somewhat depressed. Grows up to 40 centimeters in height, with a diameter of up to 45 centimeters. It has between 8 and 14 ribs, with 6-12 radial spines and a wider and more robust central one. The flowers are white, red, mauve or a very striking blue-violet color.

Ferocactus schwarzii

View of the Ferocactus schwarzii

Image - Wikimedia / Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez

El Ferocactus schwarzii it is a species that we could define as elegant. It is native to Mexico, and has a globular or ellipsoidal body, bright green in color. With a diameter of 50 centimeters and a maximum height of 80 centimetersIt has 13-19 ribs, with 1-5 spines up to 5,5 centimeters long. The flowers are yellow.

Ferocactus stainesii

View of the Ferocactus stainesii

Image - Wikimedia / Norbert Nagel

El Ferocactus stainesii It is a cactus known as barrel biznaga native to Mexico. Its cactus is globular in its youth, but it becomes columnar when it grows. It has an adult size of 3 meters high by 60 centimeters in diameter. The ribs are sharp, and appear in number 13-20. The spines are red when young and gray later; the radial ones measure about 2 centimeters and the central ones 4 centimeters. The flowers are orange or violet, and flared.

Ferocactus wislizenii

View of the Ferocactus wislizenii

Image - Wikimedia / Agnieszka Kwiecie ?, Nova

El Ferocactus wislizenii It is a species known as the barrel cactus that grows in the deserts of Chihuahua (Mexico) and Sonora (a territory shared by the United States and Mexico). Its body is globular, with a height that can be from 60 to 120 centimeters by 45 to 80 centimeters in diameter.. It has between 20 and 28 ribs, with 4 central spines and 12 to 20 radial ones. The flowers are funnel-shaped and red or yellow.

Which of these types of Ferocactus did you like the most?

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