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1. Every Friday post a photo that includes one or more flowers.
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Thursday 5 February 2015


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. It is rare and critically endangered in the wild, where it is found near Mesa de Léon in the state of Querétaro, and in the state of Hidalgo. The population was critically reduced in the 1990s, by the creation of the Zimapán Dam and reservoir in Hidalgo. The cactus grows in volcanic rock on slopes, at altitudes around 1,400 metres.

Growing as a large roughly spherical globe, Echinocactus grusonii may eventually reach over 1 metre in height after many years. Younger Golden Barrel plants do not look similar to mature specimens. The generation lifetime is estimated to be 30 years. 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, and various shades of yellow or, occasionally, white. Small yellow flowers appear in summer around the crown of the plant, but only after twenty years or so.

Echinocactus grusonii is widely cultivated by specialty plant nurseries as an ornamental plant, for planting in containers, desert habitat gardens, rock gardens, and in conservatories. It is one of the most popular cacti in cultivation. The cactus is considered easy and relatively fast growing in warmer climates around the world. The plants do have some basic requirements; an average minimum winter temperature of 12°C; and good drainage with less watering in winter. Excess water in cool periods may lead to rot. Golden Barrels are hardy to about -8ºC for brief periods. Beyond Central Mexico, Echinocactus grusonii specimens may also be seen in collections of desert plants in many botanical gardens, such as this specimen in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

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  1. Lovely shot of this barrel cactus ! Very nice

  2. I've never seen such cactus form before! cool

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :)

  3. Fascinating cactus flower! Good shot!

  4. I love it! I've never seen this cactus in bloom before.

  5. Cacti are a common sight here in California and where I realized that many cacti are beautiful when they give their blooms!

  6. Love this cactus. Just saw some in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Arizona. They are really amazing!

  7. A cactus can produce beautiful flowers. you show us a wonderful exemplar exemlar !

    Greetings from germany

  8. Oh yeah, I love cactuses, specially the beautiful blossoms!
    Have a nice weekend,

  9. Such beautiful flowers on a cactus!!