|Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family) |
Scientific Name: Ferocactus latispinus (Haworth) Britton & Rose,
The Cactaceae; descriptions and illustrations of plants of the cactus family 3: 143-144, pl. 16, f. 3, 1922
Synonym(s): Ferocactus latispinus subsp. latispinus
Ferocactus latispinus var. greenwoodii
Ferocactus recurvus; Bisnaga recurva subsp. latispina
Common Names: Devil's Tongue Barrel, Crow's Claw Cactus, Candy cactus
Origin: This species has an extensive distribution in the dryer areas of central and southern Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and south)
Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.
Ferocactus latispinus is a beautiful members of the genus Ferocactus and is commonly called barrel cactus, it is fairly popular in cultivation because it blooms very early. The young spines have a great looking red.
Description: F. latispinus is a modest-sized ball-shaped or flat-topped barrel cactus, which normally remains a solitary plant, without dividing or producing offsets.
Stem: Flattened to spherical (in cultivation), diameter 25 to 45 cm, 35 cm tall, most often wider than tall.
Ribs: 13 to 23 ribs, sharp.
Areoles: Large, grey to blackish.
Central spines: 4 large of which the lowest one is conspicuously wider, thick and flat, apically bent downward and hooked up to 4cm long. and lie flat against the body. This prominent spine is usually red or grey-red, but may be amber-coloured or yellow (var. flavispinus). The other central spines are still stout, but much narrower and not curved.
Radial spines: 6-12 up to 2,5cm long, spreading out , smaller, translucent yellow to reddish straight that have almost no width at all.
Flowers: Beautiful “glassy” rich-purple to straw-yellow, up to 6cm long and 3cm broad.
Blooming time: Late autumn to early winter, usually in October, but it usually flowers only if the weather is warm and sunny ( need a fair amount of bright sunlight to form) This species blooms very early, many young plants will bloom when they reach 10 cm in diameter. It might be noted that this is not true of the closely related F. latispinus ssp. spiralis (syn. F. recurvus);
Cultivation: Slow growing to start but does well under cultivation. Use very draining soil, water during the aestival growth cycle (this plant need plenty of water) But needs to be avoided wetting the bodies of these plants while they are in sunlight. A wet cactus in the sun light can cause sun burning which can lead to scares or even fungal infections and death.
Needs full sun. Keep dry at 10°C in winter, but can tolerate sporadic light frost.
Reproduction: Seeds are the only way of reproducing.