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Kroenleinia grusonii


Kroenleinia grusonii (Hildm.) Lodé

Family Name: Cactaceae
Synonyms: Echinocactus grusonii
Common Name: Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Ball


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded
Maximum Height 1 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 1 m


Native Distribution Mexico

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Barrel-shaped cactus that reaches up to 0.9 m wide after a few decades, but occasionally grows up to 1.8 m wide.
Stems Light green stem is initially ball shaped, but later elongates and becomes barrel-shaped at maturity. When grown in full sun, the stem becomes densely covered in golden-coloured spines.
Flowers Yellow flowers (4 cm wide) form a ring at the crown, being partly submerged in a mass of wool-like hairs. Plants begin to flower after becoming at least 0.35 m wide.
Fruits Pods produce numerous, tiny black seeds (1 mm wide).
Habitat This species is critically endangered due to habitat loss and overcollection. However, it is commonly propagated in the nursery trade.
Cultivation It will grow well indoors on a bright windowsill, but it must be grown in full sun to flower and develop golden-coloured spines.
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: Mature specimens grow towards the south or southwest to avoid the sun's most intense rays. Some desert travelers use this species as a compass.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Stems, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought
Landscape Uses Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden, Rockery / Desert Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water


Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Trumpet-shaped



Anderson, Miles. 2000. The World Encyclopedia of Cacti & Succulents. China: Anness Publishing Limited. 256 pages

Image Repository



Master ID 686
Species ID 1981
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 23 February 2022.