A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
The Fish Hook Barrel Cactus is found throughout southern and central Arizona at elevations 100 and 4500 feet along sandy desert and gravelly slopes. The cactus is easily identified by its thick (2 foot diameter), barrel shaped body (which usually reaches heights of 2 - 4 feet, but occasionally reaches over 10 feet), and long hooked spines. The cactus grows singly (as opposed to clusters, like the hedgehog cactus) and will have approximately 20 - 28 ribs. Two types of spines grow out of the ribs, the reddish, hooked spines (for which the cactus is named protrude outward from the body, while more slender, radial spines criss-cross flat along the body between the ribs.
Dry, gravely desert slopes, often under bushes below 4,500 feet