Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Devil's Tongue Barrel, Crow's Claw Cactus, Fish Hook Cactus
Ferocactus latispinus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ferocactus (fer-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: latispinus (la-TYE-spin-uss) (Info)

Synonym:Ferocactus latispinus subsp. latispinus
Synonym:Ferocactus nobilis
Synonym:Ferocactus latispinus var. greenwoodii
Synonym:Ferocactus recurvus
Synonym:Bisnaga recurva subsp. latispina

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

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

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By Amari
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By palmbob
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By palmbob
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By cactus_lover
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There are a total of 37 photos.
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3 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Cereuspete On Sep 1, 2014, Cereuspete from Tucson, AZ wrote:

Have been cultivating this species for close to thirty years, and throughout that time, it has become one of my favorites. I first encountered it as a potted, indoor / outdoor specimen plant when I resided in Maryland. Upon moving to Benson, AZ (at an elevation of 4,000') I planted several, all of which survived even the coldest of winters.

Today, at my current home in Tucson, AZ, I have several clusters of this species in both purple and white flowering variations. Good drainage is a must, especially if our "winter" turns "rainy" and "cold." The bold spines create a striking appearance against the rather brilliant green of the plant's flesh. I highly recommend it for beginners and experienced cactophiles alike.

Positive sherizona On Oct 11, 2011, sherizona from Peoria, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a great cactus, but the older it gets the less attractive it looks. In other words, unlike many other types of cactus this one doesn't age all that well. Young ones tend to produce the best blooms, at least they do out here in the desert.

Neutral cactus_lover On Oct 14, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

This Ferocactus is quite likely to flower,but usually only if the weather is warm and sunny.

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

As of 2001 the 'latispinus variety' has now become the 'latispinus subspecies'.
The 'latispinus' subspecies has 9-15 radial spines that range from thin & white to dark and stout, and is most prevalent.
The 'spiralis' subspecies has 5-7 stout radial spines.

Other valid synonyms are:
Cactus latispinus
Cactus recurvus
Cactus nobilis
Echinocactus nobilis
Echinocactus cornigerus
Echinocactus corniger
Echinocactus recurvus
Echinocactus recurvus var. latispinus
Ferocactus cylindraceus var. greenwoodiae
Bisnaga cornigera
Bisnaga recurva
Melocactus latispinus
Mammillaria latispina

Positive palmbob On Feb 25, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great looking color on this plant when young- gets a bit duller as it ages. Flowers can sometimes be a deep purple to dark magenta and quite striking. Thick thick spines on this one, that hook around and graph you if you get too close. From Mexico

Neutral Amari On Jun 15, 2001, Amari from Austin, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

With age, the red or straw spines of this slow-growing, ball-shaped or flat-topped, globular plant become broad and hooked and lie flat against the body. Cream to purple flowers appear in spring or autumn.


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

Benson, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
August, California
Davis, California
El Macero, California
Hesperia, California
Oceanside, California
San Diego, California
Sherman Oaks, California
Austin, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
Midland, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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