The Coast Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus viridescens var. viridescens), or Biznaga in Spanish, is a squat, thick-ribbed cactus native to California and northern Baja California, Mexico. It is spherical, nearly cylindrical in shape, and usually wider than it is tall. The ridged spines are ashy-red to yellow, maturing to a grayer shade later in life.
Greenish-yellow flowers bloom during the summertime and develop into a light green fruit. It mostly grows on coastal bluffs and mesas from as far south as Bahia San Quintin in Baja California to as far north as San Diego County and is also found growing up to 21 miles inland from the coast.
To see more photos of the Coast Barrel Cactus, visit the San Diego Natural History Museum’s San Diego County Plant Atlas.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jon Rebman, SDNHM