Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Violet Prickly Pear
Opuntia gosseliniana

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

Synonym:Opuntia chlorotica var. gosseliniana
Synonym:Opuntia violacea var. gosseliniana

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Cactus and Succulents

Height:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:
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

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

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Deciduous
Succulent

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:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem 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

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Profile:

3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Actee On Aug 27, 2009, Actee from Paris
France wrote:

Unlike many hardy opuntias, this one keep a really good posture, not spreading over the groung. Surely one of the best species for a xeriscapic garden !

Positive BayAreaTropics On Apr 24, 2009, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

It took quite a few years to get a small 2" potted plant to get some size-but as it did,the color became intense. Do not overwater as it does rot easily,especially potted. In ground they can still be set back by wet NorCal winters. But,once that summer sunshine starts they are the stars of the Opuntia's.

Positive Xenomorf On Nov 30, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Often confused with Opuntia santa-rita.
O. gosseliniana has plain yellow flowers, O. santa-rita has yellow flowers with a bright red base.
O. gosseliniana gets to about 3.3 feet high, while Opuntia santa-rita gets to about 6.6 feet high and has larger pads.
O. gosseliniana's pads are thicker but smaller in diameter.

I've seen these growing in the wild on the West Ruby Road Trail in Arizona (South of Tucson), off of Interstate 19 through to Ruby, AZ and on to Arivaca, AZ.

Regional...

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

Arivaca, Arizona
Chandler Heights, Arizona
Green Valley, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Rio Rico, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Hayward, California
San Leandro, California
Austin, Texas



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