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Mexican Fire Barrel, Mexican Lime Cactus, Viznaga de Lima
Ferocactus pilosus var. pringlei

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ferocactus (fer-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: pilosus var. pringlei
Synonym:Ferocactus pringlei
Synonym:Ferocactus stainesii var. pringlei


Cactus and Succulents


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Benson, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Hesperia, California

San Leandro, California

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 17, 2014, Cereuspete from Tucson, AZ wrote:

This plant grew well at 4000' and survived the rather frigid winters IF the soil was reasonably dry. A striking plant that creates a wonderful juxtapose against the Golden Barrel (Echinocactus grusonii.)


On Feb 12, 2008, QCHammy from San Tan Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Have this plant in the front yard about 7 ft from the house. Sustained no damage at all during the severe freeze in early 07. Low for Queen Creek was 16 degrees that night. The following night the low was about 20. May have received some warmth from the house but still is very hardy.


On Apr 19, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The 'pilosus' variety appears to have brighter red and bigger and thicker central spines compared to the 'pringlei' variety. They are currently only varieties and have not been promoted to the rank of subspecies.
The flowers are yellow to red.