Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:49
Specimens with Barcodes:47
Species With Barcodes:7
Echinocactus is a genus of cacti in the subfamily Cactoideae. The generic name derives from the Ancient Greek εχινος (echinos), meaning "spiny," and cactus. It and Ferocactus are the two genera of barrel cactus. Members of the genus usually have heavy spination and relatively small flowers. The fruits are copiously woolly, and this is one major distinction between Echinocactus and Ferocactus. Propagation is by seed.
Perhaps the best known species is the golden barrel (Echinocactus grusonii) from Mexico, an easy-to-grow and widely cultivated plant. Though common in the houseplant and landscape industry, the golden barrel has become very rare in habitat.
- Echinocactus grusonii Hildm. – Golden Barrel Cactus
- Echinocactus horizonthalonius Lem. – Devil's Head, Silverbell Cactus, Turk's Head Cactus
- Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. horizonthalonius
- Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L.D.Benson
- Echinocactus parryi
- Echinocactus platyacanthus Link & Otto – Giant Barrel Cactus
- Echinocactus polycephalus Engelm. & J.M.Bigelow – Cottontop Cactus
- Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus
- Echinocactus polycephalus var. xeranthemoides J.M.Coult.
- Echinocactus texensis Hopffer – Horse Crippler, Devil's Pincushion
Formerly placed here
- Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem. (as E. asterias Zucc.)
- Aztekium ritteri (Boed.) Boed. (as E. ritteri Boed.)
- Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britton & Rose (as E. wislizeni Engelm.)
- Lophophora williamsii (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) J.M.Coult. (as E. williamsii Lem. ex Salm-Dyck)
- Turbinicarpus subterraneus (Backeb.) A.D.Zimm. (as E. subterraneus Backeb.)
- "Genus: Echinocactus Link & Otto". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-02-13. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- "GRIN Species Records of Echinocactus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- "Echinocactus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- Innes C, Wall B (1995). Cacti, Succulents and Bromeliads. Cassell & The Royal Horticultural Society.
A Barrel Cactus is member of the plant family Cactaceae, characterized by being approximately barrel-shaped. Barrel cacti are classified into the two genera Echinocactus and Ferocactus, both of which are found in the Southwest Desert of North America. Their pineapple-shaped fruits can be easily removed but are not recommended for eating. The barrel cactus may reach over a meter in height. Its ribs are numerous and pronounced and the spines are long and yellow. Small yellow flowers appear around the crown of the plant only after many years. It is considered easy to grow and relatively fast growing. They may also produce round offshoots from the main stem, called pups.
The Seri Indians distinguished three species of barrel cactus: mojepe siml ( 'saguaro barrel cactus', Ferocactus acanthodes), siml caacöl ('big barrel cactus', Ferocactus covillei) and siml áa ('true barrel cactus', Ferocactus wislizenii). The species F. covillei also had several other names. The species Ferocactus covillei was also called siml cöquicöt, 'killer barrel cactus', to indicate that it should not be eaten or its liquid consumed.
Many people mistakenly believe that the common sight of a tipped over barrel cactus is due to the cactus falling over from water weight. Actually, barrel cacti fall over because they grow towards the sun, just like any other plant. Unlike other plants, however, the barrel cactus usually grows towards the south (to prevent sunburn), hence the name "compass cactus."
The barrel cactus is the last of the cacti to bloom in the calendar year. When it does bloom, a bright orange flower appears. The flower yields to a yellow small pineapple-shaped fruit.
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