Common Name: Golden Barrel Cactus
Origin/Habitat: High elevation deserts in mainland Mexico.
Threats: Habitat loss due to human development, poaching.
Current Status: Endangered
Description: You might look at this plant and think “I’ve seen this cactus before,” or “I have this in my yard!” Well you’re probably right. This attractive clumping barrel cactus is very popular for home and commercial landscapes. It is easily propagated, very drought tolerant, and grows well in a variety of climates. The wild population, however, is actually quite rare and endangered. It is native to Mexico, in the states of Queretaro, Zacatecas and Hidalgo. Its population was severely reduced by construction of the Zimapan Dam and reservoir in Hidalgo, and also by illegal collecting for the horticultural trade.
Photos: Rachel Cobb