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PlantFiles: Prickly Pear, Barbary Fig
Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Opuntia (op-UN-shee-a) (Info)
Species: ficus-indica var. decumana
Additional cultivar information: (Elongated Form)

Synonym:Opuntia elongata
Synonym:Opuntia maxima
Synonym:Opuntia decumana
Synonym:Opuntia gymnocarpa
Synonym:Opuntia labouretiana

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
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:
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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana by palmbob

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #4 of Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #5 of Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #6 of Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana by Xenomorf

By shabbyaby
Thumbnail #7 of Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana by shabbyaby

There are a total of 25 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive martenfisher On Apr 23, 2012, martenfisher from Crystal River, FL wrote:

I grow at this time 6 varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica. All of my varieties are hertiage varieties dating back hundreds to a couple thousand years. Ficus-indica is a hybrid grown from many Opuntia species. Some varieties were developed in certain locations for different qualities. Not all Opuntia ficus-indica are created equal. I have never had freeze or pest issues and with pruning constant new growth grows. I have some that fruit with very little seed content. My next variety will be the Burbank spineless. This name is constantly used for plants not Burbank but I located true Burbank. He did also work with other species as well. There is a variegated form called " Sunburst".

Positive Xenomorf On Sep 10, 2011, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This variety or form of O. ficus-indica has elongated cladodes (pads) and is just as edible as the regular O. ficus-indica.

Other synonyms of this plant are: Opuntia lanceolata, Cactus elongatus, Cactus decumanus, Opuntia ficus-indica var. gymnocarpa.

Positive palmbob On Feb 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nearly spineless and very neat and attractive Opuntia variety. Great for landscaping and not too dangerous. Not sure what the cold hardiness is. Nice pale sea-green color.


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

Chandler Heights, Arizona
Green Valley, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Yucca, Arizona
El Macero, California
San Leandro, California
Jonesville, Virginia

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