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Accepted Scientific Name: Ferocactus cylindraceus (Engelm.) Orcutt
Cactography 1926(1): 5. Orcutt
The spines are more flexible than in other subspecies, flattened, annulate, pungent, either straight or curved at apex, perhaps never hooked, usually yellow but sometimes reddish on young plants but also turning yellow in age.
Origin and Habitat: Texas and California, USA.
- Ferocactus acanthodes var. rostii (Britton & Rose) W.T.Marshall
Ferocactus cylindraceus (Engelm.) Orcutt
Cactography 1926(1): 5.
- Ferocactus cylindraceus (Engelm.) Orcutt
- Ferocactus acanthodes (Lem.) Britton & Rose
- Ferocactus acanthodes f. albispinus hort.
- Ferocactus acanthodes var. rostii (Britton & Rose) W.T.Marshall
- Echinocactus acanthodes var. rostii (Britton & Rose) Munz
- Echinocactus rostii (Britton & Rose) A.Berger
- Ferocactus rostii Britton & Rose
- Ferocactus acanthodes f. variegatus hort.
- Ferocactus cylindraceus var. hertrichii (Weinberg) hort.
Ferocactus cylindraceus subs. eastwoodiae (L.D.Benson) N.P.Taylor
Cactaceae Syst. Init. 14: 16. 2002 [Oct 2002]
- Ferocactus cylindraceus subs. eastwoodiae (L.D.Benson) N.P.Taylor
Ferocactus cylindraceus subs. lecontei (Engelm.) N.P.Taylor
Cactaceae Consensus Init. 6: 16. 1998
- Ferocactus cylindraceus subs. lecontei (Engelm.) N.P.Taylor
Ferocactus cylindraceus var. tortulispinus (H.E.Gates) Bravo
Cact. Suc. Mex. 25: 65. 1980
- Ferocactus cylindraceus var. tortulispinus (H.E.Gates) Bravo
ENGLISH: Golden Spined Barrel Cactus
Description: Ferocactus rostii (a.k.a. Golden Spined Barrel Cactus) along with Ferocactus lecontei, and Ferocactus tortulispinus is one of the old controversial geographical forms of the variable Ferocactus cylindraceus = (Ferocactus acanthodes). Ferocactus rostii is closely set with interlocking spine clusters, which almost conceal the body of the plant and whitish to golden in maturity, it is similar to Ferocactus acanthodes, but the stem is thinner, taller and the spines are more curved. However it look very similar to other varieties of Ferocactus cylindraceus which are linked one to each others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics. Nowadays all them are thought to belong to a unique polymorphic species. Such variations has led to establishment of several unnecessary names for this species.
Habit: It is a is a colourful barrel cactus usually unbranded, forming a slender tall column, although occasionally it forms a cluster of of 8 to 10 heads
Stem: Green, spherical becoming columnar up to 3 m tall and 30 cm in diameter.
Ribs: 16 to 22, rather low (hardly 1 cm high), obtuse, somewhat tubercled.
Areoles: Large, white-felted, closely set.
Spines: About 12, sometimes fewer, 3 or 4 central forming a crucifix shape, those on the lower part of the plant more or less spreading, those at or near the top erect, somewhat flexible, flattened, annulate, pungent, either straight or curved at apex, perhaps never hooked, usually yellow but sometimes reddish on young plants but also turning yellow in age.
Radial bristles: Sometimes wanting but when present 2 to 8, white or yellowish.
Flowers: Dark yellow at the crown of the plant, 4 to 6 cm in diameter.
Blooming season: Spring ( in habitat May and June).
Fruit: Fleshy, covered with scales, red, 5 cm long, 2,5 cm in diameter.
Remarks: The flowers on all subspecies are yellow, occasionally with a red tint.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Ferocactus cylindraceus group
- Ferocactus acanthodes (Lem.) Britton & Rose: Plants with a central spine 7-15 cm in length, they usually inhabits the 50-700 m elevational range. (Rejected name same as Feroctus cylindraceus)
- Ferocactus acanthodes f. albispinus hort.: White spined type. Selected cultivated form.
- Ferocactus acanthodes var. rostii (Britton & Rose) W.T.Marshall: has columnar stems up to 3 m high and 30 cm in diameter. It is similar to F. acanthodes, but the stem is thinner and the spines are more curved and blanch to golden in maturity. Distribution: Texas and California.
- Ferocactus acanthodes f. variegatus hort.: varigated form.
- Ferocactus cylindraceus (Engelm.) Orcutt: Colourfull barrel cactus forming in age a mound of thorns and then a narrow column up to 2m tall, with attractive curved spines that partly obscure the green stem. The spine colour is red but also yellow or pale grey. Distribution: southern California, southwestern Arizona, northern Baja California, and northwestern Sonora.
- Ferocactus cylindraceus subs. eastwoodiae (L.D.Benson) N.P.Taylor: Plants solitary, short to tall cylindrical up to 3 m high and 30 cmin diameter. Spines dense, partly obscuring the stems, yellowish to straw colored. Distribution: restricted to central Arizona and the Grand Canyon.
- Ferocactus cylindraceus var. hertrichii (Weinberg) hort.: Usually unbranched forming a single column up to 2 m tall and 30cm in diameter. It has a large central spine and three auxiliary centrals form a crucifix shape.
- Ferocactus cylindraceus subs. lecontei (Engelm.) N.P.Taylor: Plant with untwisted non-hooked central spines 5-7 cm in length often closely pressed to the stem; Distribution: southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, southern California, and much of Arizona. Grows at 700-1500 m in elevation.
- Ferocactus cylindraceus var. tortulispinus (H.E.Gates) Bravo: It has much shorter stems, often with flattened tips. the spines are very twisted gray. Distribution: northern Baja California.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug./2011
2) David Hunt, Nigel Taylor “The New Cactus Lexicon” DH Books, 2006 ISBN 0953813444, 9780953813445.
3) Edward F. Anderson “The Cactus Family” Timber Press, 2001
4) Nathaniel Lord Britton, Joseph Nelson Rose “Cactaceae: Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family” Courier Dover Publications, 1963
Cultivation and Propagation: Ferocactus acanthodes var. rostii are summer-growing and pretty easy plants.
Growing rate: Thought slow to start they speed when they reach about five cm in diameter. Plants in good conditions will start to bloom when reach the diameter of only 15-18 cm.
Soil: They are suited for any rich, well drained soil such us clay, pumice, lava grit, and only a little peat or leaf-mould.
Repotting: If potted, repot them preferably in the spring, if their roots become cramped. Generally, they should be repotted every other year in order to provide fresh soil. However, this doesn't necessarily mean they'll need larger containers. Fill about a quarter of the pot with broken crocks, gravel, etc. to promote good drainage. After repotting, do not water for a week or more.
Watering: Water regularly during the aestival growth cycle (this plant need plenty of water, but do not overwater and let their soil dry out between waterings), and also needs to be avoided wetting the body of this plant while it is in sunlight. A wet cactus in the sun light can cause sun burning which can lead to scars or even fungal infections and death, keep rather dry in winter. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Exposure: Outside they need a bright exposure, full sun or half shade in summer if the location is exceedingly hot or bright, inside needs bright light, and some direct sun. It can tolerate moderate shade, and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun.
Frost Tolerance: Light frost protection required for safe cultivation, but can tolerate sporadic light frost. This plants need a period of cool rest in winter to produce flowers abundantly.
Diseases and pests: Watch for infestations of mealybug, scale insects and spider mite.
Propagation: Seeds are the only way of reproducing. Seed Collecting: Permit fruit to ripen. Fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds.
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