Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another Blooming Barrel

Ferocactus cylindraceus
This barrel is the Ferocactus cylindraceus, or Compass Barrel. In my July 15 post, I described the Ferocactus wislizenii as my favorite barrel cactus because of its orange-red flowers, but these flowers are also attractive.

The flowers on this cactus are much like the F. wislizenii, but more yellow than orange. Other than the flower color, I don’t see a lot of difference in the two when counting the ribs, radial and central spines. I wouldn't be surprised if they are both F. wislizenii. As a hobbyist, all I have to go by in determining each species is what the labels list when I purchase them, and then reading about their characteristics in my reference books to confirm.

Interestingly, some sources say that the F. wislizenii is the true Compass Barrel (named that because of its tendency to lean south as time goes by,) and not the F. cylindraceus, as commonly thought, and that the F. cylindraceus grows straight up. Since different sources have opposite opinions, I've just given up trying to figure out who carries the most weight in these matters. In the whole scheme of things, I suppose it doesn’t really matter, except to the scientists and purists. I'm just going to enjoy the flowers.

1 comment:

Moe said...

Cacti are so cool! We really wish we could grow them in Iowa, but obviously we can't. Great photo!