Garden Closed

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is temporarily closed to the public to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus.

Whenever possible, the USBG will reschedule public programs and events originally scheduled during the closure period. Please monitor the USBG website for updates to operating status. Many resources can still be accessed online, including educational worksheets and manuals, fact sheets and more, and some of our programs will also be made available online. Find online resources at

Golden barrel cactus

Golden barrel cactus
Plant Botanical Name: 
Echinocactus grusonii
USBG Plant Location: 
Conservatory Room Location: 
World Deserts
Plant Threat Level: 

When Echinocactus grusonii was discovered and named in the late 1889, it was dug by the thousands and shipped all over North America and Europe to botanic gardens, palaces and private homes of collectors. As a result, there was concern for both this plant and its native habitat before the beginning of the 20th century. In 1990, populations of Echinocactus grusonii were the focus of an intensive rescue effort in the Rio Moctezuma Valley in Mexico. This valley, one of the few remaining habitats of the golden barrel cactus, was scheduled to be flooded after the construction of a major dam. Although there are very few Echinocactus grusonii in the wild today, off-site conservation has allowed for widespread propagation by nurseries and botanical gardens, and the golden barrel cactus is now one of the most popular cacti in cultivation.