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Cacti and Succulents: Need ID help with this cactus(?) or succulent

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Forum: Cacti and SucculentsReplies: 8, Views: 202
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Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 10, 2012
2:28 PM

Post #9329821

Fella wants to sell me a couple of "ears" from this "Floppy Ear Cactus", as he calls it for want of an actual name for this plant.

1. what the heck is it really?
2. how to go about propogating it from leaves - - like a url i can go to and read up on it.

thanks for any help,

~ ŁazŁo

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Fountain Hills, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 10, 2012
2:34 PM

Post #9329823

You're kidding. He expects money for that?
Decatur, GA

November 10, 2012
3:35 PM

Post #9329863

Don't pay him much. It looks like some kind of Opuntia. A cutting would probably be easy to root in dry soil. Give it plenty of sun and not much water.
If you do get a piece don't handle it with your bare hands. Use tongs of some kind. It can have small spines that are very annoying if you get them in your skin.
Have fun.
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 10, 2012
5:48 PM

Post #9329946

Looks a lot like Opuntia cochenillifera to me, but I am not 100% sure. Should not be a problem to root from pads, but if you have to pay money make sure you get a few nice big fat ones, not one of the floppy thin ones, those will root too, but form a much less sturdy base.
I also think these might be a little frost tender - as it is a more (sub)tropical cactus. I got a box with about 20 pads on ebay from someone in Florida earlier this year, I forget what I paid, but it was not that much, less than a dollar/pad, I think.
Out of those 20 a few of the smaller (2-3 inches long) failed but the 3-4 really nice big fat pads rooted fine and a couple of them have shot up incredibly fast, the rest have rooted fine, but grown less fast. If the plant in the picture is indeed O. cochenillifera, it is supposed to be an arborescent Opuntia, so it can get really really big if given space. The pads are mostly thornless and apparently quite edible, it gets nice flowers and I think the fruits are edible too.
Los Angeles, CA
(Zone 10a)

November 11, 2012
5:11 PM

Post #9330642

More appropriate for material like this is a trade of modest value: cookies, your own plant material, a glass of homemade lemonade... It doesn't look like I'd pay more than $.50 per pad, which makes a trade more fun and fitting.
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 16, 2012
9:23 AM

Post #9334649

I'm pretty sure it's Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis, commonly known as cow-tongue cactus. As mcvansoest said, it is easily propagated by simply by sticking a pad into the soil. This plant was originally found growing in the San Antonio, TX region but I've grown it in Fort Worth so I know that it's quite cold-tolerant. Around here, most of the native Opuntias are considered weeds. As far as the asking price of 5 dollars is concerned,I'll just say this. "One man' s weed is another man's treasure."

This message was edited Nov 16, 2012 1:01 PM


Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 16, 2012
9:46 AM

Post #9334658

Thanks everyone for your input . . . I'm gonna refer to it as Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis . . .
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.     ;--)

Do a dance of joy!

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Decatur, GA

November 16, 2012
10:41 AM

Post #9334691

Cute baby.
Interesting the statue is naked and from what I can tell anatomically correct. ;-)


Valley of the Sun, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 18, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #9336290

Definately not O. engelmannii v. linguiformis. Just compare the shape of the pads and the trunk style of this photo:

Looks more like the common O. ficus-indica that's been kept on the dry side and would possibly do better in the ground. The shape of the pads, the spacing of the areoles & the trunk style all point towards this. Comparison photos:

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