I bought a small cactus from the garden center, but it doesn't say which species it is. Can anyone identify this cactus? For reference I put it next to a coin of about 3 cm (1.2 inch) in diameter. Thanks in advance.



It's almost certainly a species of Ferocactus. Unlabeled garden center plants usually are more or less common species... though not always! Ferocactus haematacanthus is a very rare species... there is another species with almost the same name-- F. hamatacanthus (missing the "e") is much more common. (The name with the "e", haematacanthus, means "blood(red) spines"; without, ie. hamatacanthus, means "clawlike or hooked spines".) But then, juvenile species of the genus often look very much one like another. I wonder if it is F. macrodiscus-- I've seen young plants of this species that look almost exactly like yours... but there are probably a half-dozen or more others that also do. Blooms might decide it, but apart from F. fordii, Ferocactus plants usually won't bloom until they grow very large indeed. After some 4-6 years the adult spination will also aid in identification. In any case-- it's a really nice plant!

Regards, John in Florida

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  • Thanks, John. I hope it will bloom, maybe the flowers can tell us more! – benn Aug 7 '19 at 7:26

Nice plant! I don't have an ID for you. I can tell you it's some sort of barrel cactus. They are hard to ID when they are young (for me, anyway). I recommend repotting it into something a little roomier.

Possibly Ferocactus haematacanthus.

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  • Thanks again, they all look very similar indeed at this stage. So I'll have to wait a few years and post again when it has some flowers (if it will ever bloom here in Holland). I have put it in a little bit larger container already (this one was really small). – benn Aug 13 '18 at 14:02

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