Echinocactus is a genus of cacti in the subfamily Cactoideae. The generic name derives from the Ancient Greek echinos, meaning "spiny," and cactus. It and Ferocactus are the two genera of barrel cactus. Members of the genus usually have large spines and small flowers. They thrive on plenty of sun. Perhaps the best known species is the Golden Barrel Cactus from Mexico, an easy-to-grow and widely cultivated plant. Echinocactus grusonii is a well known species of cactus native to central Mexico from San Luis Potosi to Hidalgo. Described by Heinrich Hildmann in 1891, it is popularly known as the Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Ball or, amusingly, Mother-in-Law's Cushion.
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