Many-headed Barrel, Biznaga de Chilitos, Harem Cactus, Cotton Top Cactus, Woolly-headed Barrel Cactu
Echinocactus polycephalus subsp. xeranthemoides

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinocactus (ek-in-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: polycephalus subsp. xeranthemoides
Synonym:Echinocactus polycephalus var. xeranthemoides
Synonym:Echinocactus xeranthemoides
Synonym:Emorycactus xeranthemoides

Category:

Cactus and Succulents

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:

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

Light Shade

Danger:

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

Bloom Color:

Pink

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Succulent

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood 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

Regional

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

Marble Canyon, Arizona

Bostonia, California

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Nov 11, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although there are occasional occurances where a standard Ferocactus Barrel will grow multiple heads, this species almost always grows multiple heads.
The subspecies 'polycephalus' is the most widespread and common, growing in clumps of about 20-30 heads, and it's spines are covered with very fine hairs.
The subspecies 'xeranthemoides' usually only has up to about 12 heads, and usually dosen't have the fine hairs. It also grows at higher elevations than the 'polycephalus subspecies and the main species.
All three can also be grown from seeds.