15 Cactus with Stunning Yellow Flowers (With Photos!)

Have you ever wanted to grow cactus with joyful, yellow flowers? With this list I made, you don’t need to worry about searching through different shops! Here are the top 15 cacti with stunning yellow flowers you can grow at home.

There are 15 cacti with stunning yellow flowers:

  1. Crown cactus
  2. Golden barrel cactus
  3. Prickly pear cactus
  4. Sand dollar cactus
  5. Balloon cactus
  6. Devil’s tongue
  7. Monk’s hood
  8. Matucana weberbaueri
  9. Bunny ears
  10. Brazilian prickly pear
  11. Indian head cactus
  12. Underground copiapoa
  13. Bishop’s cap
  14. California barrel cactus
  15. Silver ball cactus

The color yellow has been associated with happiness for years and is commonly used to help brighten up people’s homes and spirits. So why not grow some cacti that produce yellow blooms to do exactly that? Keep reading and take a look at all these cacti that you can choose from!

1. Crown Cactus (Rebutia marsoneri)

The crown cactus can be seen sprouting yellow flowers that are only 25–45 mm long in late spring. Flowers tend to look similar to flames and can grow in various colors, but will only stay open for a week. An ideal choice for beginners, this cactus must be kept away from children and animals.

Size: 5 inches (12.7 cm)

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and humans: No

The crown cactus, also known as the flame crown, is a solitary cactus that only grows up to about 5 inches (12.7 cm). They freely produce various colored blooms, including a bright yellow.

You can typically find its pretty flowers, up to 45 mm long, on the upper half of its dome, forming a crown, in late Spring. The torch-like flowers will remain open for about a week before wilting.

Crown Cactus Flowers
Radosław Urban (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Rebutia Marsoneri Flowers

This popular cactus is commonly sold as an ornamental plant and is best grown in dry but sunny environments. Crown cacti tend to grow slowly but bloom often, making this perfect for beginners.

While it is non-toxic, it is covered with white spines that would be highly painful to touch, so keep the little ones and pets away!

2. Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

The rare yellow flowers of the golden barrel cactus only grow on fully-established cacti after 15 years. Covered with spines, this plant must be handled with gloves and protected from temperatures below 15°F or -9.44°C to ensure its survival.

Size: 3 feet (0.91 m)

Origin: South America, Brazil

Poisonous to pets and children: No

Littered with pale yellow spines, this species of cactus can look like a glowing golden orb from afar.

Flowers are usually only produced by mature golden barrel cactus that have lived over 15 years. But the rare sight of its bright and spiky-looking flowers is worth it!

Golden Barrel Cactus Flowers
Attila Medvessy (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Echinocactus Grusonii Flowers

Harsh winters that drop below 15°F (-9.44°C) for long periods can potentially kill the golden barrel or lemon ball cactus entirely.

They will thrive indoors if they are placed in a sunny window but must be handled with gloves.

3. Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica)

On average, the iconic prickly pear cactus can produce yellow, multi-petaled flowers every spring and summer. Once pollinated, the flowers will quickly develop into edible fruit that must be cleaned before consumption to remove its glochids, or fine patches of spiny hair.

Size: 16–23 feet (5–7 m)

Origin: North and South Americas

Poisonous to pets and children: No

With paddle-shaped stems and rich, red fruit, the prickly pear cactus is an iconic type of cactus that you can find growing yellow flowers with multiple petals.

Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers
David Braun (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flowers

Its flowers are usually seen in spring and summer before turning into red fruit. These fruits are edible and are commonly sold in supermarkets, but the glochids (fine and tiny bristles) growing on them may damage the mouth and throat.

Left in the ground, this cactus can grow 23 feet (7.01 m) tall and live up to 20–30 years. However, it’s not unusual nowadays to find them growing in pots, where they will be much shorter in stature.

Pets and children should be kept away from this cactus to avoid getting pricked.

4. Sand Dollar Cactus (Astrophytum asteria)

The sand dollar cactus is a small but attractive star-shaped cactus that is commonly grown for its golden floral display every spring, with a short lifespan of 1–2 days. However, this species has been marked as endangered, so purchasing this cactus may be harmful to its species.

Size: 1–2 inches (2.5–6 cm)

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and children: No

This cactus is much more round than it is tall, rarely growing beyond 1–2 inches. Its plump and circular body does not contain any spines and grows beautiful, amber flowers at the top of the cactus.

These flowers only last a day or two. But they are frequently seen sometime in the spring.

Sand Dollar Cactus Flowers
#MaryKingfishers MK (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Astrophytum Asterias Flowers

The sand dollar cactus, or star cactus, do not appear to be toxic and are naturally without the typical spines, making it attractive to cactus lovers and plant-owners alike.

Sand Dollar Cacti Are an Endangered Species
Sand Dollar Cacti Are an Endangered Species

It is important to note, though, that this species has been listed as endangered. Please bear this in mind if you are considering buying this!

5. Balloon Cactus (Parodia magnifica)

Balloon cactus can grow multiple yellow, 4-centimeter flowers in summer and fall. This floral display may only be seen when the cactus has matured after 3 years. Purchasing balloon cacti must be handled with caution, as this species has been labeled as endangered.

Size: 3–6 inches (7–15 cm)

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and children: No

Soft and delicate yellow flowers bloom from the top of this cactus in summer and early fall, and often several at a time. Grown in a small pot, the cactus will resemble a balloon with numerous ribs and thorns.

The 4-cm flowers are typically only seen after it has grown for at least 3 years when the plant has matured. Tender balloon cacti are best grown in pots indoors to protect them from winter winds.

Balloon Cactus Flowers
Lauren Dorton (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Parodia Magnifica Flowers

It is best to underwater this plant due to its high sensitivity to excess moisture. Keep them where they can absorb full sun daily but still maintain a moderate amount of shade.

This species is endangered and must be given serious thought when purchasing a new cactus, as it may be illegal to do so.

6. Devil’s Tongue (Ferocactus latispinus)

The devil’s tongue cactus frequently blooms yellow flowers that are 2–5-centimeters long, even when the cactus is young. This cactus requires full sun exposure daily but must be handled with caution to avoid painful snagging from its hook-tipped spines.

Size: 12 inches (30.48 cm)

Origin: Southern Mexico

Poisonous to pets and children: No

The devil’s tongue is a bold cactus native to Mexico that grows bright, yellow flowers in the fall, typically only in warm weather.

Its 2–5 cm flowers can be seen sitting at the top of the stem, often tinged with red at the tips. The cactus itself is a sight to behold and will look as if it is covered with x-shaped red ribbons.

The Devil's Tongue Cactus Has Barbed and Hooked Thorns
The Devil’s Tongue Cactus Has Barbed and Hooked Thorns

Devil’s tongue cactus love the sun and require full sun exposure daily, which is great for those in hotter climates.

7. Monk’s Hood (Astrophytum ornatum)

The monk’s hood cactus, a member of the astrophytum genus, is a star-shaped cactus that can grow yellow flowers with silken petals. Flowers can be commonly seen throughout the summer, but only bloom from established cacti over 12 years old.

Size: 3–6 feet (0.9–1.8 m)

Origin: Southern Mexico

Poisonous to pets and children: No

At the top of the green solitary stem, you can see its 7–12-cm wide flowers bloom throughout the hot summer. Its lemony flowers look almost papery, a near silky, or metallic sheen covering its petals.

Astrophytum cacti all have an average of 8 ribs and will look like a star from above. This is where its other name, the star cactus, comes from.

Monk's Hood Cactus Flowers
Francesco Diliddo (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Astrophytum Ornatum Flowers

In the ground, it can grow up to 6 feet (1.83 m), but it’s common to find 20-inch versions of this in nurseries. Grown by seed, this cactus may take up to 12 or more years to bloom.

This is an easy cactus to grow at home, but its conservation status is marked as threatened and purchasing it may be illegal.

8. Matucana Weberbaueri (Matucana weberbaueri)

Matucana weberbaueri cactus tends to bloom yellow flowers after 3–4 years if grown by seed. Flowers are typically 5–6 centimeters long and about 3 centimeters in diameter and are frequently seen in spring.

Size: 2 inches (5.08 cm)

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and children: No

Deep, marigold flowers tend to emerge from this bristly cactus in the beginning of the year. Flowers may grow in soft clusters, but they will each have long and slim-tubed bases with very few hairs.

Matucana Weberbaueri Flowers Every Spring
Matucana Weberbaueri Flowers Every Spring

Almost crowded with spines, this small cactus is typically only 2-inches high and rarely goes beyond 5. It may not be toxic, but its thorns are best kept away from active pets and children.

The less water you give this cactus, the better. An easy-growing species, this plant requires dry and well-ventilated environments to prevent it from rotting.

9. Bunny Ears (Opuntia microdasys)

The flowers of the bunny ear cactus are rare and may be seen in early summer, producing soft yellow flowers at the tip of its stems. This cactus rarely blooms flowers in its many years of life but makes an excellent plant that requires full sun daily.

Size: 2–3 feet (0.6–0.9 m)

Origin: Northern Mexico

Poisonous to pets and children: No

Bunny ears cacti are mainly cultivated for their iconic, bunny-eared look, but if you’re lucky, you might see them bloom soft, sunbeam-yellow flowers early in the summer.

This species of cactus seems to be abundant in many areas and may actually be considered an invasive weed in the future. Thick and flat stems grow in pairs and contain painful clumps of hair called glochids to make up for their lack of stems.

Bunny Ear Cactus Flower
Pokotilo Olga (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Opuntia Microdasys Flowers

This cactus may not grow spines, but the presence of glochids makes it a potential health hazard for children and animals.

Bunny ear cactus rarely produces flowers, and may even be delayed by watering and light, but is still a fun and whimsical plant that can be grown in full sun.

How to Make a Cactus Bloom (ABUNDANTLY) | Cactus Collection
YouTube Video – How to Make a Cactus Bloom

10. Brazilian Prickly Pear (Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis)

Yellow flowers, about 4–6 centimeters wide, can be seen growing upon mature Brazilian prickly pear trees either in late spring or early summer. This tree-like cactus grows a high number of spines and must be protected from children and animals.

Size: 29 feet (8.84 m)

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and children: No

The Brazilian prickly pear is a fascinating cactus that grows similarly to a tree and sprouts multiple yellow flowers. The thorns are known to be extremely sharp, however, so keep this plant away from children and areas with high traffic.

In late spring or early summer, you can admire yellow amber flowers growing in a dabbling fashion all over the tree.

Brazilian Prickly Pear Cactus Flower
Monteros Rodolfo (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Brasiliopuntia Brasiliensis Flowers

Although this unique cactus is resistant to droughts, it grows better with regular watering sessions. Exposure to frosts lower than 10°C may potentially kill this plant as well, so keep it indoors.

11. Indian Head Cactus (Parodia ottonis)

The Indian head cactus blooms yellow, lotus-like flowers in late summer. This dwarf cactus matures and produces flowers quickly, and must be protected from temperatures below 23°F or -5°C.

Size: 3-inches (10 cm)

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and children: No

This attractive, dwarf cactus is a small but densely covered cactus with needle-like spines. Flowers usually appear in late summer.

Lotus-like blooms are produced in a soft shade of citrine. This cactus makes an excellent houseplant due to how fast it grows and produces flowers.

Indian Head Cactus Flowers
Natalia Timcu (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Parodia Ottonis Flowers

The spines are slender and almost rusty in appearance, which compliments the pale yellow flowers nicely. Because of this, however, you’ll need to handle this with gloves.

Otherwise, this attractive cactus ball is quite easy to grow. Plus, they’re commonly sold in nurseries everywhere. This dwarf cactus requires dry soil at all times and must be protected from long winters below -5°C.

12. Underground copiapoa (Copiapoa hypogaea)

The underground copiapoa cacti can be seen growing scented, yellow flowers at the top of its stem. These flowers are diurnal and typically only bloom during the day before closing a few hours before sunset.

Size: 1–3 inches

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and children: No

The underground copiapoa, or copiapoa hypogaea, is a curious species of cacti that grows into plump, pineapple-like shapes. It grows delicate multi-petalled yellow flowers at the very top of the cactus base.

To make this more fascinating, its scented flowers are diurnal. This means they usually only bloom a few hours after sunrise and close themselves just before sunset.

Underground Copiapoa Cactus Flowers
Something! (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Copiapoa Hypogaea Flowers

Flowers are only seen on the hot days of summer, and spines are almost completely absent on older and more mature plants.

Grow this in a sunny window indoors, and you can enjoy the blooms of this carefree cactus whenever temperatures rise!

13. Bishop’s Cap (Astrophytum myriostigma)

The bishop’s cap cactus produces scented, 1–2-inch yellow flowers every spring. If the flowers are pollinated, they will develop into red and edible 1-inch fruit. Blooms can only be expected in more mature plants, at least 6 years of age.

Size: 2–3 feet (0.6–0.9 m)

Origin: Northern Mexico

Poisonous to pets and children: No

This whimsical cactus flowers every early spring to help increase the likelihood of their seeds growing the next summer.

These glimmering, silvery-yellow flowers tend to be 1–2 inches in diameter and have a sweet smell to them, often growing by the apex of the cactus.

Bishop's Cap Cactus Flower
David Nabregoj (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Astrophytum Myriostigma Flowers

Astrophytum myriostigma cactus is easy to grow by seed, but flowers will only bloom after the cactus is about 6 years of age.

You can grow this in a complimentary pot indoors and let it—quite literally—be the star of the show.

14. California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus)

On average, the California barrel cactus can be seen growing bright, yellow flowers every summer. These flowers can be seen at the crown of the stem and can even be seen in younger specimens.

Size: 3–6 feet (0.9–1.8 m)

Origin: Southern USA

Poisonous to pets and children: No

Every summer, bumblebee yellow flowers can be seen adorning the crown of this cactus native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

All the flowers on each of these cactus subspecies come out yellow. Occasionally though, they are tinted with red.

California Barrel Cactus Flowers
EOL − BJ Stacey (cc-by-nc) PlantNet – Ferocactus Cylindraceus Flowers

The California barrel cactus can look like a cylindrical mass of thorns from afar due to how abundant it is with thorns.

This massive cactus can grow up to 6 feet (1.83 m) tall if you grow it in the ground. But it will still produce flowers if kept in smaller pots.

15. Silver Ball Cactus (Parodia scopa)

Silver ball cacti are commonly cultivated for their 1-inch yellow blooms. Their flowers can be expected during the summer to attract pollinating insects like bees and are usually found on the upper half of the round cactus stem.

Size: 12–17 inches (30–43 cm)

Origin: South America

Poisonous to pets and children: No

A perfectly round globe covered with clusters of fine hair and spines, this aptly named cactus is commonly grown for its topaz-yellow blooms.

These small, 1-inch flowers grow on the upper half of the cactus every summer.

Silver Ball Cactus Flowers
Pistache RE (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Parodia Scopa Flowers

This plant should not be watered in the winter but can otherwise take in a moderate amount of water during its growing season.

Silver ball cacti that are grown in the ground must be shielded from long periods of cold temperatures as low as 23°F or -5°C.

Although the silver ball cactus doesn’t seem to be toxic, your little ones and pets must be kept away to ensure they don’t get pricked by its bountiful spines.


What type of cactus have yellow spikes?

There are numerous varieties of cactus that can be found growing yellow spikes. These would include balloon cactus, lady finger cactus, and the silver ball cactus.

Are cactus flowers edible?

Just like cactus fruit, most cactus flowers of non-toxic cacti are safe for consumption. But they must be thoroughly cleaned beforehand to remove any fine hairs and spines. Cactus flowers that have been washed and cleaned can be used in cooking or used fresh as a garnish.


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