The Golden Barrel Cactus | So Common, Yet Endangered | Desert Botanical Garden


Golden Barrel Cactus

The golden barrel cactus is a mainstay of desert landscapes and is one of the most popular cactus species in the world. Although easily grown in nurseries to meet this demand, the golden barrel is still facing an uphill battle for survival in the wild.

Until fairly recently, it was only found in one location in Central Mexico occupying an area less than 4 square miles; and even that location was threatened by inundation from dam construction. Many golden barrels were rescued from this site and, fortunately, several additional populations were found. Still, over-collecting and habitat loss continues to be a threat to this species in the wild and it remains an endangered species in Mexico. Also, these sub-populations are severely fragmented so that genetic exchange between them is very unlikely.

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