Hardiness: USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) 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)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Bloom Color: Red Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: Mid Spring
Foliage: Deciduous 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
Seed Collecting: Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
On Apr 28, 2012, Peterthecactusguy from Black Canyon City, AZ wrote:
I bought one of these at Walmart (yes I hate Walmart but they are closeby and they have nice plants usually) The flowers ARE not yellow as describe in Anderson's TCF or other books. However they are red-orange like mentioned. I call mine Vlad the Impaler because of all the dead flys that were stuck in the glochids. They are sort of a pain if you bump into the plant, however mine is inclosed due to javelina attack..
It grows fairly quickly and despite being from Texas actually does quite well in BCC.
Good garden plant in dry USDA Zone 7 or warmer climates(will take more cold in dry climates than moist). Very ornamental, flowers vary from yellow to magenta, but most garden plants of the species are orange-red.
On Apr 14, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:
Several reliable sources report the flowers as being 'yellow'. As of yet, I have not seen a single photo or plant with yellow flowers. Every photo/plant I've seen of this species has only red-orange flowers. I even considered the variety that's named "Opuntia aciculata var. orbiculata" to be the one with red-orange flowers, but the word 'orbiculata' translates into "globose, globular, spheric, ball-shaped, global, spherical, circular, orbiculate, round" which is probably referring to the stem segments (pads).
Nevertheless, the flowers are attractive.
On Oct 14, 2004, TucsonJen from Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
Our school "garden" has this one listed as "Cowboy Whiskers" but I've never seen it identified with that name anywhere else. Neither common name indicates the intensity with which the glochids embed themselves into skin nor the sting they inflict.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Saks, Alabama Black Canyon City, Arizona Chandler, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Picture Rocks, Arizona Sierra Vista Southeast, Arizona Tucson, Arizona La Presa, California San Diego, California Molino, Florida Oklahoma City, Oklahoma