barrel cactus


: any of a genus (Ferocactus) of nearly globular deeply ribbed spiny cacti of Mexico and the adjacent U.S.
also : any of several similar cacti (genus Echinocactus)

Illustration of barrel cactus

Illustration of barrel cactus

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Rain-swollen barrel cactus are plump as baby walruses. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 26 Sep. 2022 Bright blue skies contrast with the earthy colors of sand, rock and plants such as saguaros, barrel cactus, brittlebush, chollas and paloverde trees. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 5 Oct. 2022 Rustic wood signs along the route identify native plants such as jojoba, barrel cactus and saguaros. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 30 Aug. 2022 The prickly pear fruit syrup blends with lime juice and features a nice crunch from the seeds of a barrel cactus. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 14 July 2022 According to Texas Highways, visitors may also want to head approximately five hours north to pay a visit to Franklin Mountains State Park, home to the ocotillo, yucca, Southwestern barrel cactus, and Chihuahuan fishhook cactus. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2022 The plants within are keyed to the word’s meaning — tough barrel cactus for the former, fragrant sage for the latter. Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2021 Southwest To make an impact, cluster together barrel cactus—including red-spined Ferocactus pringlei and yellow-spined Echinocactus grusonii. Thad Orr, Sunset, 22 Jan. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barrel cactus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barrel cactus was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near barrel cactus

Cite this Entry

“Barrel cactus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

barrel cactus


: any of various spiny cacti that resemble a barrel in shape, have many ridges on the outside, and are found in Mexico and in nearby parts of the U.S.

More from Merriam-Webster on barrel cactus

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