Echinocactus grusonii

23 Nov

Echinocactus grusonii (03/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Echinocactus grusonii (03/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Well drained

Eventual Height: 90cm

Eventual Spread: 90cm

Hardiness: 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11 (will tolerate occasional frost)

Family: Cactaceae

Echinocactus grusonii is a cactus with a spherical habit and they live for approximately 30 years. Its has up to 35  mid green ribs forming to surface of the cactus. Each rib contains sharp spines which are straight to slightly curved and buff yellow in colour. Its yellow flowers are up to 5cm across and appear around the crown of the plant once mature.

Echinocactus grusonii, commonly known as the Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Ball or Mother In Law’s Cushion, is native to east central Mexico. In it native habitat it grows in volcanic rock slopes. Although common in cultivation this cactus is classified as Endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The etymological root of the binomial name Echinocactus is derived from the Greek echinos meaning ‘hedgehog’ and cactus an old world spiny plant. Grusonii is named after Hermann August Jacques Gruson (1821-1895), a German entrepreneur with an interest in Cacti.

The landscape architect may find Echinocactus grusonii useful in desert habitat or rock gardens as an accent plant due to its dramatic form. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Echinocactus grusonii Thorns (03/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Echinocactus grusonii Thorns (03/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Echinocactus grusonii has little wildlife value.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Echinocactus grusonii their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2012.

Echinocactus grusonii prefers rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils. It should not receive water during the winter, cooler months.

Echinocactus grusonii requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture


3 Responses to “Echinocactus grusonii”

  1. Mark Kellam 23/11/2013 at 20:10 #

    HelloI really enjoy the posts…….thankyou.However there needs to be some more careful editing – especially relating to correct spelling.Recently “manner” was spelled as “manor”, and in this post, “straight” is spelled as “strait”.Spelling matters when meaning is affected!RegardsLexi

    Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2013 11:40:04 +0000 To:

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 23/11/2013 at 20:46 #

      Lexi, I’m glad you enjoy the posts. Thanks for the corrections, please do not hesitate to let me know if you notice any in the future.

  2. Sondra L. Rosario 03/12/2013 at 00:16 #

    The three main threats to cacti in the wild are development, grazing and over-collection. Development takes many forms. The construction of a dam near Zimapan , Mexico , caused the destruction of a large part of the natural habitat of Echinocactus grusonii . Urban development and highways have destroyed cactus habitats in parts of Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona , including the Sonoran Desert . The conversion of land to agriculture has affected populations of Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus in Mexico, where dry plains were plowed for maize cultivation, and of Copiapoa and Eulychnia in Chile , where valley slopes were planted with vines.

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