Echinocactus

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Echinocactus

 

a genus of plants of the family Cactaceae. The globose or cylindrical stems measure 1.5–3 m in height and 1–1.5 m in diameter. There are clearly visible ribs, with feltlike pubescent areoles bearing a fascicle of hard needles. The solitary yellow or, less commonly, red flowers have a short feltlike pubescent tube; they are borne on the crown of the plant. There are about ten species, distributed in the subtropical deserts of Mexico and the southern United States. The pulp of the stems of some species is used to produce candied fruit. The golden ball cactus (E. Grusonii), the Mexican giant barrel (E. ingens), and other species are cultivated in greenhouses and as houseplants.

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