The spines were used as needles, as awls and in tattooing. The pulp of barrel cactus has been widely used for making cactus candy (thus one of its common names, candy barrel cactus), but this has also accounted for its destruction and, therefore, protected status in many areas.
Similarly, how do you take care of a barrel cactus?
Light. A barrel cactus does best in a very sunny window, perhaps a southern exposure. Plants that do not get enough sunlight will grow slowly and fail to thrive. Outdoors, grow it in a full-sun location, though it will also tolerate some shade.
Herein, how do you identify a barrel cactus?
Flowers are followed by elongated, bright yellow or off-white fruits that retain the dried blooms. The stout, straight or curved spines may be yellow, gray, pinkish, bright red, brown or white. The tops of barrel cactus plants are often covered with cream- or wheat-colored hair, especially on older plants.
Is a barrel cactus poisonous?
Barrel cacti are one of the more dangerous plants in the desert. Their spines can easily puncture human skin. … It has also been said that liquid in the cactus can be deadly if ingested or even sniffed.
Barrel cactus plants are characterized by their ribbed, cylindrical shape. The cacti come in many sizes and may be low and squat or as tall as 10 feet (3 m.) in height. The barrel cactus cares for lost travelers in the desert because it habitually grows tilted to the southwest.
Mature golden barrels are known to be hardy down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, colder than the average annual extreme minimum temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit for USDA zone 9. Conversely, young plants with a stem diameter less than 4 inches can be cold-damaged at temperatures around 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Re: How do you water your cactus plants? From above, but only on the soil, using a small water can or a pipet, depending on the size of the pot.
It’s best to take cuttings in fall (September, October) or spring (March, April, May). Use a knife with a wide blade to gently pry new, small barrels off established golden barrel cacti. Lay cuttings in the shade to allow the open wound to dry and callus. (Don’t put in sun or the plant tissue will burn.)
They are covered with large and small spines. The larger spines keep away thirsty desert creatures, and the smaller spines help prevent water loss and scorching by reflecting away some of the intense desert sunlight.
Many animals eat the barrel cactus or its fruit, including desert bighorn sheep and antelope ground squirrels. It is also an important source of nectar for bees.
From my observations, barrel cactus are all exceptionally great southwest native plants for gardens. They bloom wonderfully in spring and fall; some are exceptional with red spines that back light in front of a setting sun. They produce large fruit filled with seed that feeds a range of wildlife.
about 2 inches