Compass Barrel Cactus


Scientific Name: Ferocactus cylindraceus
Common Name: California barrel cactus
Family: Cactacea, Cactus family
Duration: Perennial
Size: 5 feet or more.
Growth Form: Shrub; one erect stem (or leaning), taller than wide, spheric to columnar.
Flower Color: Maroon outside, yellow inside; fruit yellow;
Flowering Season: April to May.
Threatened/Endangered Information: Documents vary, some say salvage restricted in AZ, some not.

Comments: This is similar in appearance to the F. wislizeni, but is different in that it grows (generally) straight up, rather than leaning. Some documents say that earlier recognized varieties are not consistent. Ethnobotany: The plant was used as a reliable source of water, the buds were sun dried for food, eaten fresh, parboiled, or baked in a pit.