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Echinocactus platyacanthus, also known as the giant barrel cactus, giant viznaga, or biznaga de dulce, is a species of cactus (family Cactaceae). It is native to central Mexico in the Chihuahuan Desert. This species is the largest of the barrel cacti. Their hairs are often used for weaving in Mexico and used to produce a traditional candy by boiling the pith.
This slow-growing species can reach sizes to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) tall to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide and can live over a hundred years. Photographs exist of specimens almost four feet (almost 1.2 meters) in thickness. What is probably the largest individual living today is one called "Goliat" at the "Area Natural de Daxpe" in the Municipio de Cadereyta, Queretaro State, Mexico, which is 9' 8" (2.95 meters) in height, at least three feet (0.9 meter) thick and weighs three metric tons (6,614 pounds) Their stems are a gray-ish blue color and the straight, rigid spines are black. The apex of the cactus is flat and covered with a yellow felt-like substance. They're heavily ribbed and have large areoles. Their diurnal, tubular flowers bloom at the end of spring to summer and are a vivid yellow color, they grow about 2 centimetres (0.79 in) in height and 3 centimetres (1.2 in) broad. The fruit is about 3 centimetres (1.2 in) long and is covered by a hairy wool.
- "Echinocactus platyacanthus". IUCN Redlist. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Giant Barrel Cactus, Biznaga Gigante Echinocactus platyacanthus". Dave's Garden. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Echinocactus platyacanthus". CACTUS ART NURSERY. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Echinocactus ingens". Cactus Art. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
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