Ajuntament de Barcelona

Echinocactus grusonii

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Catalan name: 
    Seient de sogra
    Spanish name: 
    Asiento de la suegra
    English name: 
    Golden barrel cactus
    Observations: 

    According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the conservation status of this plant is critically endangered.

    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Cactaceae
    Origin: 
    Central Mexico (fom San Luis de Potosí to Hidalgo state)
    Habitat: 
    Semidesertic lands, between volcanic rocks, at an aproximate height of 1,400 m
    Characteristics: 

    Almost spherical (with flatten top) bright green fleshy plant (60 cm-1 m in diameter) with yellow woolliness. It has between 21 and 37 straight prominent and thin ribs. They have big areolas (the spot where the prickles appear) which are covered by woolliness and 1-2 cm between them. The woollines colour varies depending on the plant age: when young it is yellow, later it is whitish and finally it is greyish.

    The radial prickles, in groups of 8-10, are more than 3 cm long, whereas the central ones, in groups of 3-5, are about 5 cm long. Both the radial ones and the central ones are strong, stretch marked and straight, although the central ones can be slightly curved down.

    The flowers (4-7 cm long and 5 cm in diameter) appear on the adult specimens' upper areolas between the woolliness and they last 3 days. The external petals are yellowish inside and chestnut-browns outside and the internal ones are yellowish and bright.

    Flowering time: 
    Summer
    Uses and properties: 

    Its spectacular appearance when it reaches the madurity makes it highly appreciated as a decorative plant, either by itself or in group, in warm areas gardens.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name Echinocactus grusonii consists of the genus name Echinocactus, coming from the Greek words εχινος, “hedgehog”, and κάκτος, “prickly cactus” and, later, “cactus”, “cactus that ressembles a hedgehog”, and the term grusonii, which comes from the family name of the German cactus lover Hermann Gruson (1821-1895).

    For further information: 

    THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Enciclopedia de plantas y flores. Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1996

    http://www.asac.cat

    http://www.suculentas.es

    http://www.plantascrasas.com

    http://www.succulent-plant.com

    http://www.rhs.org.uk