Hamatocactus Britton & Rose (1922)

Hooked cactus
(Latin hamatus = hooked; Greek kaktos = thistle)
globular cactus
ribs deep gashed, around the areoles somewhat thicker; spines long and thin
central spine mostly hooked; buds with beautiful coloured scales
flowers funnel shaped, yellow or yellow with red center, flower tube is slim, with beautiful coloured scales
fruits large, berry-shaped, when ripe bursting at the base
seeds small, black

Highslide JS


USA - Texas, New Mexico
Mexico - Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Querétaro
very warm steppes

Growth period

sunny, light and a warm location, some protection against full sun exposure
if the plants discolor reddish, then keep somewhat shade
this genus is somewhat sensitive to too much moisture, therefore only occasional
and not to many watering, watering only if the soil is complete dry
keep the root neck dray by coarse gravel

Winter period

bright and complete dry at 8–12°C (46–53°F)


minerally, gravelly with sparse loam, without humus
Hamatocactus hamatacanthus (Muehlenpfordt) F. M. Knuth (1936)
Habitat - Big Bend Ranch State Park,
Brewster and Presidio County
Texas, USA
Highslide JS   Highslide JS    
Habitat - Terlingua, Brewster County
Texas, USA
Highslide JS   Highslide JS    


New Mexico, Texas
Chihuahua, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas
Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Puebla
in 32–7050 ft (10–2150 m) altitude


juvenile globular, in age elongated, to 23.6 in (60 cm) high, occasionally with several heads, dark green
ribs usually 13, to 2 in (5 cm) high
areoles to 1.2 in (3 cm) distance, with nectar glands
8–12 radial spines, 0.4–2.8 in (1–7 cm) long, rounded to flattened, partly ringed
1–4 central spines, upper 3 straight, lower to 4.7 in (12 cm) long, outstretched,
± straight, edged to flattened, initially red or spotted, later horn-colored to gray
flowers to 2.8 in (7 cm) long, yellow with red throat
fruits 0.8–2 in (2–5 cm) long, green
seeds 1.5 mm long

Flowering time

July–August in culivation and habitat
7–8 years from seed
Synonyms Echinocactus hamatacanthus Muehlenpfordt (1846)
Bisnaga hamatacantha
(Muehlenpfordt) Orcutt (1926)
Ferocactus hamatacanthus (Muehlenpfordt) Britton & Rose (1922)
CITES Appendix II
Description of "Kakteen von A bis Z" by Walter Haage with courtesy by Kakteen-Haage made available.
Pictures with courtesy by © Rob Romero, Tucson, Arizona made available.