Ferocactus setispinus


Cactus bicolor
Echinocactus hamatus
Echinocactus hamulosus
Echinocactus muehlenpfordtii
Echinocactus nodosus
Echinocactus setispinus
Echinocactus setispinus var. cachetianus
Echinocactus setispinus var. hamatus
Echinocactus setispinus var. mierensis
Echinocactus setispinus var. orcuttii
Echinocactus setispinus var. robustus
Echinocactus setispinus var. setaceus
Hamatocactus bicolor
Hamatocactus setispinus
Hamatocactus setispinus f. flavibaccatus
Mammillaria engelmannii
Thelocactus setispinus
Thelocactus setispinus var. hamatus
Thelocactus setispinus var. mierensis
Thelocactus setispinus var. orcuttii


Ferocactus setispinus is native to Mexico Northeast and Texas where the plant grows in shrub vegetation and coastal lowlands and can spread up to 500 m of altitude.


Ferocactus setispinus is a perennial succulent belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant usually has a solitary habit and can reach up to 15 cm tall and 10 cm in diameter. The stem is globose when young and columnar in age, apically depressed and it is arranged in 12-15 ribs. The pronounced ribs are well-marked, slightly wavy and dull green to bluish-green in color. The areoles are round, large and white and bear the spines. The 9-17 radial spines are 4 cm long, radiating, straight and white to brownish in color. The 1-3 central spines are yellowish white to red, slightly hooked, bristle-like and pointing outwards. Blooming occurs from the early summer to early Autumn and the flowers are borne at the apical part of the plant. The flowers are bell-shaped, purple in color and scented. The fruit is spherical and the seeds are tiny and dark brown. The flowers are bell-shaped, quite large, showy, yellow in color with a deep red center. The fruits are small, round, fleshy and red with white pulp.


This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is in bright place but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. Temperatures below 6 ° C can damage the plant so it is best to shelter it or place it in a cold greenhouse during the winter. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The best draining soil for this genus is made up of 33% fertile loam and 66% coarse sand. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. Irrigation is proportional to the size of the pot, the position and the season. In Spring and Autumn the plant can be watered with a glass of water every 10-15 days; in summer it can be watered every 7 days. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. The plant is used to growing in poor soils, for this reason it does not need abundant fertilization, it is sufficient to fertilize once in spring and once in summer. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.


The name comes from the Latin “ferox”, that is fierce, given by the presence of colorful, strong numerous and menacing thorns along the ribs of the stem.

Official Web Site:

Italian Blog:

Read our advice

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search