Echinocactus grusonii - Golden Barrel Cactus
Golden Barrel Cactus is one of the most dramatic plants in the desert. Its round shape and deep ribs are unique, and the curvy golden spines seem to glow in the sunlight. This is one remarkable specimen.
Echinocactus are native to central Mexico. Though extremely popular in cultivation, they're endangered in the wild. Seed is increasingly hard to find.
Easy to grow indoors or out, Barrel Cactus need full sun, fast-draining soil, a rare deep watering in summer. They'll tolerate extreme heat and drought and are frost hardy to about 30* F. In cool climates, they do just fine in a pot in a sunny window. The plants grow very slowly to 3' tall and wide.
Seeds are easy to germinate. Soak overnight, then surface sow on a gritty soil mix, keep them warm and moist (a sheet of glass or clear plastic helps) in bright, filtered light. They'll germinate in 4 to 6 weeks. These seeds are from a botanical garden and will be true to type.