Coville's Barrel Cactus
Emory Barrel

Ferocactus emoryi
(F. covillei)

Coville's Barrel Cactus, Ferocactus emoryi, photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in western foothills of Estrella Mountains, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. 12 Sept. 2009.

SPINES: All of the spines, up to 10, at each areole are stout and several are quite long and curved and mostly not hooked. Fine, hair-like spines are absent. When young and only 10 to 30 cm tall these barrels have very long, stout, strongly curved, spines. The look is very distinctive as these long spines form an impenetrable cage around the nascent barrel.

FLOWERS: Deep red flowers begin opening once summer monsoon is underway - July thru Sept. Be aware that F. wislizenii flowers, which are normally orange can also be red or yellow!

STEM: Columnar, up to 2 m or even 3 m tall.

FRUIT: Yellow fruits are arranged at the top, the growing tip, of the cactus.

RANGE: Southwestern Arizona. All three barrels, including this species and also Compass Barrel (Ferocactus cylindraceus) and Fishhook Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizenii) can be found in the Estrella Mountains of Maricopa Co., Arizona.

Cactaceae -- Cactus Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 15 Sept. 2009,
updated 13 June 2014.