Ferocactus hamatacanthus (Muehlenpf.) Britton & Rose
Turk's Head, Turk's Head Cactus, Texas Barrel Cactus, Giant Fishhook Cactus
Cactaceae (Cactus Family)
USDA Symbol: FEHA2
In its early stages of growth the Turks head is rather round, but it becomes columnar as it reaches maturity, often about 8 inches tall and 8 inches in diameter. It usually has a single stem but occasionally will branch. It has 13-17 large, broad ribs with tubercles up to 2 inches high. Out of the tubercles grow 8-14 outer spines and 4-8 central ones, the lowest of which is extremely long, up to 6 inches, and hooked on the end. The flowers are 2 1/2-4 inches tall almost as wide, and fragrant, though one should be steady on one’s feet when smelling them. There are up to 30 inner petals, which are long and wide, but pointed at the tip. They are yellow, sometimes red at the base. The pistils and the anthers are yellow. The pistils extend beyond the stamen.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall, often shorter.
Flower: Yellow; reddish underneath the outer petals, 3 inches across.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Diurnal.
DistributionUSA: NM , TX
Native Distribution: Along Rio Grande from mouth of Devil's River to El Paso, TX. Also northern Mexico.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Conditions Comments: Minimum temperature 45 F
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Desert landscape
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-PM-8 Collected 2010-07-02 in Presidio County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 1140 - Cacti (1991) Clive Innes and Charles Glass
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Ferocactus hamatacanthus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ferocactus hamatacanthus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ferocactus hamatacanthus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-10
Research By: TWC Staff