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Silver Dollar Prickly Pear, Dinner Plate Cactus

Opuntia robusta

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Opuntia (op-UN-shee-a) (Info)
Species: robusta (roh-BUS-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Opuntia guerrana
Synonym:Opuntia robusta var. guerrana
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 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


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

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

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:

Aguila, Arizona

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

Apple Valley, California

Garden Grove, California

Long Beach, California

Nuevo, California

San Leandro, California

Valley Center, California

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 13, 2014, Mark_B from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

Opuntia Robusta is also called "Wagon Wheel Opuntia."
I grew mine from seed. It came in one of those seed packets you buy at Walmart or Target. This one was the only survivor from that pack of seeds. It's a beauty, grows fairly slow if it's in a pot. I've had mine for ten years plus.


On Jan 9, 2009, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a semi-hardy Opuntia, it will stand frost up to about -8c (especially if kept dry) but doesn't have the ability to tolerate cold and damp that plants like O.Phaeacantha have. Quite a vigorous growing cactus, should be fertilized regularly, but not excessively, to ensure a healthy plant.


On Oct 2, 2008, LoboLoco from Somewheren Desert, AZ wrote:

I have several old well established ones here on property that are well over 10' tall and 6' wide... Trunk on one is 26" circumference... We call her 'Great Grandma' as she has given MANY cuttings over the years .... Practically no maintenance required!
Last year over 43 pounds of fruits! Still waiting for count this year...


On Jan 12, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to central Mexico.
My plant is in very strong light all day, in fact, too much light and heat because it was stating to burn up during the summertime. The spination developement depends on the clone used to start the plant. There is variable spination on this plant.
There is also a variety of this plant with pads that exceed the size reported in books, which is about 10 inches long. I have seen the "maxima" variety pad size reach 16 inches long and an inch-and-a-half thich. It is known as Opuntia robusta var. maxima


On Mar 9, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the big daddy of the Opuntia world- massive pads up to over 1' across... can develop into a massive plant up to 20' and nearly as wide. Very spiny pads, though, so plant only if you got the room. Native to Southern California.