Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelmann) Britton & Rose 1922
Fishhook barrel cactus, fishhook barrel, Arizona barrel cactus, biznaga de agua, candy barrel cactus, viznaga hembra, compass barrel cactus
|Kingdom||Plantae||Plants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta||Vascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients|
|Division||Magnoliophyta||Flowering plants, also known as angiosperms|
|Class||Magnoliopsida||Dicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves|
|Subclass||Caryophyllidae||Cacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts|
|Order||Caryophyllales||Includes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants|
|Family||Cactaceae||Succulent (water-storing) plants, often spiny|
|Genus||Ferocactus||From the Latin ferus, “fierce,” and cactus, referring to its heavy spines|
|Species||wislizeni||After Frederick Adolf Wislizenus (1810-1889), Army surgeon, explorer, botanist and plant collector of German birth who travelled extensively in the southwestern United States|
About plant names...
The Arizona barrel cactus is native to southwestern North America. Adult plants
often lean toward the south, perhaps because strong southern sun inhibits growth on
that side, hence the name "compass barrel cactus." Sometimes the lopsided columns tip over
in the mud following a sudden rain.
Identification: Round or column-shaped, plants are
usually single, 3-9½' (1-3 m) high and 31" (80 cm) around, with 20-30 ribs.
Stems are asparagus-colored.
There are two types of spines.
Central spines, the largest and most prominent, may be red, white, or gray.
They are round or flattened in cross-section, occurring in groups of 4-7. One spine is largest, often shaped like a hook, and 3-4" (8-10 cm) long; smaller spines are straight. Underneath the
central spines are radial spines, which are white, much thinner (almost hairlike), and more flush
against the stem. Funnel-shaped flowers are 1½-1¾" (4-5 cm) in size, usually orange but grading into red and
yellow, blooming from July to September. Oval shaped fruits up to 1¾" (5 cm) are yellow.
Edibility: Ripe fruits are edible, "tart and lemony," with firm
texture. Indigenous Americans also processed the pulp into a cabbage-like food.
Anderson, Edward F., The Cactus Family, Timber Press, 2001, p. 336
Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert
The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library
The Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site
8/9/2023 · Cienega Creek Natural Preserve,, Arizona · By John W. Kent
Ferocactus wislizeni description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.
7/29/2023 · Cienega Creek Natural Preserve,, Arizona · By John W. Kent
5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Arizona
≈ 19 × 31" (48 × 79 cm)
4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland
≈ 12 × 12" (29 × 30 cm)
About this map...