Prickly Pear Cactus, Brazilian Prickly Pear
Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Brasiliopuntia (bra-sil-ee-oh-PUN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: brasiliensis (bra-sill-ee-EN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Opuntia brasiliensis
Synonym:Opuntia bahiensis
Synonym:Brasiliopuntia bahiensis
Synonym:Opuntia schulzii
Synonym:Brasiliopuntia schulzii

Category:

Trees

Cactus and Succulents

Height:

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

Hardiness:

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:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

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

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Succulent

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Carlsbad, California

Brooksville, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Mars Hill, North Carolina

Andrews, Texas

Brady, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
4
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Nov 2, 2012, MagnoliaGroveNZ from (Zone 9b) wrote:

Hardy outside in wet winter to -5C or -6C with reasonable drainage. Flowers heavily in December.

Positive

On Jul 29, 2012, flintstreetinns from Mars Hill, NC wrote:

My brasiliopuntia is indoors(sunroom) in Asheville, NC. It is approx. 12 feet tall and put out dozens of bright yellow blossoms late last month(June). Have had this plant for many years and appears to be perfectly happy summer and winter as potted.
Can anyone share propogation suggestions. Rick

Neutral

On Oct 30, 2010, TX_gardener from Brady, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Identity unknown to me until today courtesy of Xenomorf; got one single "leaf" many years ago and it has multiplied into many plants, have given away starts often; does well outside in moderate weather but have to overwinter inside (Zone 8a). Having my plants in containers has kept them small and I've never had it flower.

Neutral

On May 11, 2007, paulzie32 from Lutz, FL wrote:

Is this the little opuntia that is usually found in cactus dish-gardens in supermarkets?

Neutral

On Apr 27, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant can reach 66 feet or higher.
This species was reclassified out of the Opuntia genus into a genus of it's own,, 'Brasiliopuntia'.

Other valid synonyms are:
Brasiliopuntia neoargentina
Brasiliopuntia subacarpa
Opuntia brasiliensis subsp. subacarpa

Neutral

On Mar 22, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

In its native Brazil this can grow up to 60' tall tree. THe cactus pads are space out along the succulent and woody branches just like leaves, only these leaves have nasty spines. Very green normally, it can survive in a zone 9b, but looks chlorotic and sad in winters (needs warmth and humidity in winter).