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California Barrel Cactus
Ferocactus cylindraceus
About California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus) 4 Nurseries Carry This Plant Ferocactus cylindraceus is a species of barrel cactus which is known by several common names, including California barrel cactus and miner's compass. This cactus is usually cylindrical or spherical, with some older specimens forming columns two meters in height. It is covered in long, plentiful spines, which are straight and red when new and become curved and gray as they age. It bears bright yellow flowers with red or yellow centers on the side that faces the sun. The fleshy, hollow fruits are yellow. This cactus is native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. A picturesque organism, this already uncommon plant is threatened by collectors. It comes from Calafornia.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub, Succulent

6.6 - 10 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color
Yellow, Red

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 confirmed , 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL
Pseudoschinia elautalis Image
Pseudoschinia elautalisPseudoschinia elautalis

Landscaping Information
Full Sun


Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage

Common uses
Common uses
Hedges, Deer Resistant

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
7, 12*, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Gravelly, rocky, or sandy places

Annual Precipitation: 3.2" - 17.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.46" - 2.58", Coldest Month: 42.8" - 62.2", Hottest Month: 67.6" - 88.8", Humidity: 2.55" - 42.82", Elevation: 30" - 5021"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Ferocactus cylindraceus var. cylindraceus
Common Names: Biznaga-barril Cilíndrica, California Barrelcactus, Miner's Compass

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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