Ferocactus stainesii


Echinocactus pilifer
Echinocactus pilosus
Echinocactus pilosus var. pringlei
Echinocactus pilosus f. stainesii
Echinocactus pilosus var. stainesii
Echinocactus pringlei
Echinocactus stainesii
Ferocactus pilifer
Ferocactus pilifer f. flavispinus
Ferocactus pilifer var. stainesii
Ferocactus pringlei
Ferocactus stainesii
Ferocactus stainesii var. pilosus
Ferocactus stainesii var. pringlei


F. stainesii is native to Mexico Northeast and Mexico Southwest where the plant grows in sandy soils, up to 1200 m of altitude. In nature the plant can grow up to 2 m high and 50 cm in diameter.


F. stainesii is a wonderful colorful cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The stem is ball-shaped, dark green in color, arranged in 13-20 ribs and the plant can be simple or clumping. On each rib are found areoles bearing spines. Central spines are long, flat and bright red, the radial ones are white, similar to bristle and slightly curved. Blooming occurs from the late spring to summer and blossom are born at the apex of the stem. The funnel-shaped flowers are bright orange, 3 cm in size and have yellow stigmas. if the plant is pollinated it will produce yellow and round fruits resembles lemons.


This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 6°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. 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. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


The easiest and fastest method of propagation is to use stem cuttings but is also possible to propagate the plant 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. 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 soil 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.

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