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Growing Succulents in the Desert Column

(List of Growing Succulents in the Desert columns)

Ferocactus of the Month
"Ferocactus pilosus" by Chris Monrad

Photos by Chris Monrad

(This article may only be reprinted with the author's permission.)

Spring brings a very showy (but smallish) flower and vivid spination in Ferocactus pilosus, native to the San Luis Potosi region of Mexico. The red spines are often very thick and robust in better specimens, many of which are readily available from our member nurseries. The spination quality is best when grown in full sun, although our piercing summer sun and low humidity can cause some discoloration of tissue and sunburn. A reasonable compromise is to place the plant on the extreme south edge of the drip line of a Palo Verde such that the plant is in full sun most months of the year excepting three or four weeks on either side of the summer solstice. Older plants will often grow offsets. Specimens in my yard appear to have withstood the extreme cold of this winter, but I am aware of some casualties in other parts of town. In any event , this species is a must have for the Ferocactus aficionado.


List of Growing Succulents in the Desert columns