Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Ferocactus wislizeni (Candy barrel)
Anderson, Wynn

Ferocactus wislizeni

Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britton & Rose

Candy Barrel, Candy Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus

Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Synonym(s): Echinocactus wislizeni


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A cylindrical cactus, Candy Barrel Cactus or Fishhook Barrel Cactus sometimes reaches 10 ft. in height and 2 ft. in diameter and is one of our rarest cacti. It is round in its early stages, then oval or cone-shaped, and finally cylindrical. It has 13-25 vertical ribs extending from the bottom to the top of the stem. The tubercles that make up the ribs are pointed. The yellowish-red or purplish-red spines are in groups of 12-20, with 3 or 4 much stronger than the others, 1 1/2-4 inches long. The upper 3 are straight, and the fourth is usually hooked downward and is much heavier than the other 3. The flowers vary in color among shades of yellow, gold, red, and orange, and are about 2 inches long and up to 3 inches across. The petals are short in relation to the width of the center portion. Yellow fruits follow.

Fruits attract birds and small mammals.


From the Image Gallery

32 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


Native Distribution: AZ east to west Texas, south in northwestern Mexico to Sinaloa
Native Habitat: Deserts; grasslands; rocky areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy or gravelly soils.


Use Ornamental: Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Desert landscape
Use Wildlife: Fruits attract birds and small mammals.
Warning: This cactus has very sharp spines.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Commercially Avail: yes


Bibref 1141 - Cactuses of Big Bend National Park (1998) Evans, Douglas B.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Ferocactus wislizeni in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ferocactus wislizeni in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ferocactus wislizeni


Record Modified: 2023-02-10
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back