Giant Echinocactus platyacanthus | ©Jesús Pérez
Barranca de Meztitlán (Meztitlan Canyon) Hidalgo, Mexico.
Common names: Giant Barrel Cactus, Giant Biznaga, Large Barrel Cactus - Biznaga Gigante, Biznaga de Dulce.
Echinocactus platyacanthus (Caryophyllales - Cactaceae) is the largest of all the Barrel Cactus. It grows huge in habitat up to 2,5 m tall and 1,5 m wide.
This cactus is used in Mexico to prepare a traditional candy for boiling the pith, however the overcollection of wild plant for making cactus candy is the major threat to the survival of this species. This plants were also used by indigenous peoples of Mexico , using the woolly hairs as filling fibres and weaving.
The species is native to central Mexico in the Chihuahuan Desert, and is classified as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List.