Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Miniature Barrel Cactus
Thelocactus setispinus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thelocactus (thel-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: setispinus (set-AY-spin-us) (Info)

Synonym:Ferocactus setispinus
Synonym:Echinocactus setispinus
Synonym:Hamatocactus setispinus

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

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:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

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

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

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 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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Thelocactus setispinus by palmbob

By BROforest
Thumbnail #2 of Thelocactus setispinus by BROforest

By BROforest
Thumbnail #3 of Thelocactus setispinus by BROforest

By pancho3355
Thumbnail #4 of Thelocactus setispinus by pancho3355

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #5 of Thelocactus setispinus by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #6 of Thelocactus setispinus by Xenomorf

By terrora
Thumbnail #7 of Thelocactus setispinus by terrora

There are a total of 12 photos.
Click here to view them all!


4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive hardyinokc On May 22, 2014, hardyinokc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

This cactus has survived outside in a raised cactus bed for almost 3 years here in OKC without any problem...

Positive Louis_C On Sep 1, 2010, Louis_C from Alhambra, CA wrote:

I believe this is the cactus that I had grown when I was little. It has nice fragrant. The flowers will be close at night. I don't know how long it takes to be mature from seeds. I'm looking for seeds of this cactus (non-selfing would be ideal).

Neutral frostweed On Oct 4, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Miniature Barrel Cactus, Thelocactus setispinus, is Endemic to Texas.

Positive BROforest On Jul 1, 2005, BROforest from Brownsville, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I was suprised to come upon about a two thousand square foot tract of Mesquite regrowth brush with hundreds of these small septispinus growing below ( kind of a painfull experience as I had on tennis shoes). They were really quite striking with many of these yellow/white flowers with patterned red centers, and reddish looking spikes coming out. The soil was clayey on top with an underlying mix of pure sand which is rare in this area where the other ground is mostly all alkaline clay(gumbo we call it). I wonder if our area had these growing native and why they grow so well in this one small patch, which is about to be cleared and dozed.

Positive palmbob On Jul 15, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

great flowers on the US/Mexican species- comes in all sorts of colors in summer. Must have at least 20 synonyms (couldn't begin to name them all). small columnar bright green cactus with thin, long hooked spines.


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

Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Santa Maria, California
Vacaville, California
Tampa, Florida
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Brownsville, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Pearsall, Texas
Portland, Texas

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