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Arizona Turk's Head, Eagle Claw

Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinocactus (ek-in-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: horizonthalonius var. nicholii
Synonym:Meyerocactus horizonthalonius subsp. nicholii


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

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

Sun to Partial Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink


Magenta (Pink-Purple)

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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 woody stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

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:

Robertsdale, Alabama

Green Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Bostonia, California

Kermit, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 5, 2009, Jon0523 from Green Valley, AZ wrote:

In my southern Sonora Desert zone 9B garden I have numerous E. horizonthalonius in the landscape and in group plantings in pots. My specimens come from Texas where they has been salvaged from contruction sites. These are marvelous plants which begin to bloom in May with repeat blooming throughout the heat of the summer and into September.


On Aug 26, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Other common names this plant goes by are; Devil's Head Cactus; Mancacaballo; Mancamula; Melon Cactus; Viznaga Meloncillo; Blue Barrel Cactus; Nichol's Turk's Head; Turk's Cap Cactus.