One of the giant barrel-type cacti, the taxonomy has been tossed back and forth between Echinocactus platyacanthus, E. ingens, E. grandis, and E. palmeri for over 100 years, but is not settled on E. platyacanthus according to the latest information. Regardless of the name, this huge plant makes a spectacular specimen when full grown. Juvenile plants are vastly different than adult plants and could be mistaken as two distinct species. The juveniles initially have a blue gray body slowly changing to green, frequently with purple chevrons between the ribs while the adults have deep green bodies with much wool at the crown. Yellow flowers occur in a ring at the top and poke out beyond the wool. Very widespread range from Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas south into Oaxaca, with slight variation from one region to the next, leading to the different names applied to this species.