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By Alice Liles

Alice’s note: This story first appeared in my blog Cactus are Cool on June 8, 2020. I am really enjoying watching my cactus bloom right now and thought I would share this one with you.

Echinocactus horizonthalonius, sometimes called eagle claw or blue barrel and sometimes mistaken for Echinocactus texensis, the horse crippler,  is native to the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts, northern Mexico and the Trans-Pecos area of Texas. I have six specimens of this species and I wish I had more because they make a beautiful big flower. The cactus itself isn’t bad looking, either.
Some plants have spines that are spread out over a fleshy blue-green body, like this one. Others have spines that are much closer together, giving the plant more cover from harsher sun, depending on where they are growing.

These plants usually bloom anywhere from May through June; this is the first one of mine to bloom this year, greeting me on June 5th of this year, so I am looking forward in anticipation to the others surprising me as well.

These plants make such striking flowers, I knew I had posted stories about them before, so I checked, and sure enough, there are several other stories about them in the blog! If you would like to learn more about this particular cactus and see more of its flowers, go to , type Echinocactus horizonthalonius in the Search line and you can enjoy more pictures of these flowers, in some cases multiples on one plant.
This really is a nice cactus to have in your garden.



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