Texas barrel cactus, Turk's head cactus, giant fishhook cactus
West and south Texas along the Rio Grande, and Otaro County, south New Mexico
Usually solitary, but may form small clumps
Limestone hillsides and cliffs
Yellow; reddish underneath the outer petals, 3 inches across
Distribution map for ferocactus hamatacanthus
Ferocactus wislizenii grows in the the Franklin Mountains, near the border with New Mexico, but the only ferocactus species (relatively) widespread in Texas is ferocactus hamatacanthus, rather smaller than the other varieties further west but like those it has many fierce spines, including a very conspicuous central spine, hooked at the end, slightly curved, and up to 6 inches long. There are 12 to 16 radials, and all spines may be white, red, yellow or intermediate shades. The plant grows only to a height of around 12 inches, is very frost tolerant (to -15°C), and is found in only in the central Chihuahuan Desert, near the Rio Grande.