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Accepted Scientific Name: Ferocactus hamatacanthus subs. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) N.P.Taylor
Cactaceae Consensus Init. 5: 13. 1998
Origin and Habitat: Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
Ferocactus hamatacanthus (Muehlenpf.) Britton & Rose
Cactaceae (Britton & Rose) 3: 144. 1922 [12 Oct 1922]
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus (Muehlenpf.) Britton & Rose
- Bisnaga hamatacantha (Muehlenpf.) Orcutt
- Echinocactus haematochroanthus Hemsl.
- Echinocactus hamatacanthus Muehlenpf. in Otto & A.Dietr.
- Hamatocactus hamatocanthus (Muehlenpf.) F.M.Knuth in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. brevispinus (Engelm.)
- Echinocactus hamatocanthus var. brevispinus (Engelm.) J.M.Coult.
- Echinocactus longihamatus var. brevispinus Engelm.
- Echinocactus longihamatus f. brevispinus (Engelm.) Schelle
- Hamatocactus hamatocanthus var. brevispinus (Engelm.) Borg
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. crassispinus (Engelm.) L.D.Benson
- Echinocactus haematacanthus var. crassispinus Engelm.
- Echinocactus hamatocanthus var. crassispinus Engelm.
- Echinocactus longihamatus var. crassispinus Engelm.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus f. cristata hort.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. davisii (Houghton)
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. flavispinus (Meinsh.)
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. flexispinus (Engelm.)
- Echinocactus flexispinus Engelm. in Wisliz.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. gracilispinus (Engelm.)
- Echinocactus longihamatus var. gracilispinus Engelm.
- Hamatocactus hamatocanthus var. gracilispinus (Engelm.) Borg
- Hamatocactus longihamatus var. gracilispinus Engelm.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. longihamatus (Galeotti ex Pfeiff.)
- Echinocactus hamatocanthus var. longihamatus (Galeotti ex C.F.Först.) J.M.Coult.
- Echinocactus longihamatus Galeotti ex C.F.Först.
- Echinocactus setispinus var. longihamatus (Galeotti) Poselg.
- Ferocactus longihamatus hort.
- Hamatocactus longihamatus hort.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. papyracanthus (Kunth)
- Hamatocactus hamatacanthus var. papyracanthus Kunth in Backeb. & Kunth
Ferocactus hamatacanthus subs. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) N.P.Taylor
Cactaceae Consensus Init. 5: 13. 1998
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus subs. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) N.P.Taylor
- Bisnaga haematacantha subs. sinuata (A.Dietr.) Doweld
- Bisnaga hamatacantha subs. sinuata (A.Dietr.) Doweld
- Echinocactus longihamatus var. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum.
- Echinocactus longihamatus f. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) Schelle
- Echinocactus setispinus var. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) Poselg.
- Echinocactus sinuatus A.Dietr.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) L.D.Benson
- Ferocactus sinuatus (A.Dietr.)
- Hamatocactus hamatocanthus var. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) Borg
- Hamatocactus sinuatus (A.Dietr.) Orcutt
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus subs. sinuatus f. cristatus hort.
Description: The typical Ferocactus hamatacanthus subsp. sinuatus is a small barrel cactus (commonly known as "Yellow Turk's Head") that is grown for its long flexible yellow spine. The beautiful crested form is very rare in collection and highly priced for its sculptural shape and yellow spination. Older crested plant, if well grown, can reach a size up to 40 cm in diameter, or more.
Stems: At first fan shaped then brain shaped, dark green to grey-green with crested growth 7,5-20 cm in width.
Ribs: Narrowly compressed, acute, somewhat undulate to deeply crenate and slightly tuberculate.
Areoles: Circular to elliptic 1-3 cm apart, young ones with white, yellow or grey felt with elongated glands, 2 to 4 mm long between the flower and the spines; these at first are soft, but in age become hard and spine like.
Spines: 12-16 per areole.
Central spines: up to 4 per areole, yellow or straw coloured, terete or somewhat flattenedn curved or slightly hooked, principal central spine thin more or less flattened, 5-10 cm long, 0,4-3 mm broad, more or less flexible.
Radial spines: 8-12 terete, grey to reddish, especially near the stem apex upper ascending, lower descending, laterals appressed, 3,5-7,0 cm long.
Flowers: Near apical in a ring, funnelform, pale yellow 6-7,5 long, 7-9 cm across. Filaments yellow to orange-yellow, anthers and pollen yellow. Stigma stigma yellow wit 8-10 lobes.
Blooming season: Late summer to autumn, flowers open midday, partially close at night, and reopen again for several days.
Fruits: Globose to elongate, 20-45 mm long, 10-35 mm in diameter, green, yellow-green, or olive becoming dark brownish red at maturity. The fruit of this species is unlike that of most other species of the genus; the skin is thin and the flesh juicy and edible.
Seeds: About 1 mm long, shiny black, pitted.
Blooming season: Early summer to autumn in succession.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Ferocactus hamatacanthus group
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus (Muehlenpf.) Britton & Rose: has stems up to 60 cm tall, ribs rounded but not compressed and brownish-reddish spines. Distribution: Southern Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. crassispinus (Engelm.) L.D.Benson
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus f. cristata hort.: is a crested cactus that forms fan-shaped stems with especially hooked spines. There are several quite different clones.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. davisii (Houghton): This form differs for having very clear (almost white) and very shining flowers. Distribution: Tamaulipas, Mexico.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. flavispinus (Meinsh.): has long golden yellow spines. In some plants, particularly on the upper one-half or one-third of the stems, the collective dominant colour of the spines is yellow. (Same as Hamatocactus sinuatus ?)
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. longihamatus (Galeotti ex Pfeiff.): has great rounded ribs composed of massive tubercles swelling around each areole and very long central spines, curved or slighly hooked. Distribution: Durango.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus var. papyracanthus (Kunth): has central spines apically hooked or almost twist into ringlets, principal central spine flattened more or less papery. Distribution: Tamaulipas.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus subs. sinuatus (A.Dietr.) N.P.Taylor: Recognizable for its smaller stem up to 30 cm tall and 20 cm in diamter. Ribs are about 13, narrow and more acute at the crest than in var. hamatacanthus. Distribution: plain of the Rio Grande in southeastern Texas and neighboring Mexico.
- Ferocactus hamatacanthus subs. sinuatus f. cristatus hort.: Crested form, recognizable for the yellow spines. Known in cultivation only.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) 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
3) David R Hunt; Nigel P Taylor; Graham Charles; International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
4) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton: “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names” Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg 2010
5) N. L. Britton, J. N. Rose: “The Cactaceae. Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family.” Volume III, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington 1922
6) Brian Loflin, Shirley Loflin “Texas Cacti: A Field Guide” Texas A&M University Press, 26/Oct/2009
7) Albert Michael Powell, James F. Weedin “Cacti of the Trans-Pecos and Adjacent Areas” Texas Tech University Press, 2004
8) Del Weniger “Cacti of Texas and Neighboring States: A Field Guide” University of Texas Press, 1984
Cultivation and Propagation: It is not too difficult in a greenhouse, although grows quite slowly. It is usually seen as a grafted plant but can grow on its own roots too.
Soil: Use a mineral well permeable soil with little organic matter (peat, humus).
Exposure: They need a good amount of light shade to full sun this help to keep the plants healthy, although slow growth.
Watering: Water sparingly from March till October (weekly during summertime, if the weather is sunny enough), with a little fertilizer added. Less or no water during cold winter months, or when night temperatures remain below 10° to prevent root loss. It is sensitive to overwatering (rot prone).
Fertilization: Feeding may not be necessary at all if the compost is fresh then, feed in summer only if the plant hasn't been repotted recently. Do not feed the plants from September onwards as this can cause lush growth which can be fatal during the darker cold months.
Hardiness: Keep perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. (but it is relatively cold resistant and hardy to -5° C, or possibly colder for short periods) In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!! (Temperature Zone: USDA 9-11)
Crested growth: Unlike 'monstrose' varieties of plants, where the variation from normal growth is due to genetic mutation, crested growth can occur on normal plants. Sometimes it's due to variances in light intensity, or damage, but generally the causes are unknown. A crested plant may have some areas growing normally, and a cresting plant that looks like a brain, may revert to normal growth for no apparent reason. If you have any of the crested part left you need to remove the normal growth and leave the crested part behind this will need to be done regularly.
Propagation: Grafting or cuttings. Plants are usually grafted onto column-shaped cacti but proved to be able to produce their own roots if degrafted. Cuttings will take root in a minimum temperature of 20° C (but better in hot weather). Cuttings of healthy shoots can be taken in the spring and summer. Cut the stem with a sharp, sterile knife, leave the cutting in a warm, dry place for a week or weeks (depending on how thick the cutting is) until a callus forms over the wound. Once the callus forms, the cutting may be inserted in a container filled with firmed cactus potting mix topped with a surface layer of coarse grit. They should be placed in the coarse grit only; this prevents the cut end from becoming too wet and allows the roots to penetrate the rich compost underneath. The cuttings should root in 2 to 6 weeks. Large crested piece must be placed on the soil surface without burying the plant base down in the soil.
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