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Violet Prickly Pear
Opuntia gosseliniana var. duraznilla

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Opuntia (op-UN-shee-a) (Info)
Species: gosseliniana var. duraznilla




Cactus and Succulents


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer




Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Hayward, California

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 23, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

You will never find a more colorful Cacti..Purple,violets and reds with some orange. And I do not live in a desert climate..the colors come out when grown in full sun and on the dry side.
Just a beautiful cacti that I have done my best to propagate in my yards,for friends and also had targeted by thieves. The last had really reduced it to a fraction of its largest spread. I don't know why its not seen more..maybe the muted colors in a well watered nursery plant hide the beauty hidden within?...
btw..Its moved to a protected area.


On Aug 26, 2011, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This variety differs from the type species variety in that this plant only reaches a height of about 1-2 feet or so and is for the most part prostrate. It still has all bright yellow flowers with NO red in the throat. It has long whitish-gray spines more often than not. This form has also been called 'var. longispina'.