Spacing: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm) 24-36 in. (60-90 cm) 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) 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 Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade
Danger: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Bloom Color: Red Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: 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
On Jan 18, 2011, glochid15 from Parsons, KS (Zone 6b) wrote:
In the wild, certain characteristics vary from plant to plant. Some almost completely spineless forms have been reported, which are often confused with Opuntia humifusa. O. humifusa usually does not have the red flower throat of O. macrorhiza, though. It is one of the most common species of prickly pear in america; found in almost every state. It is very easy to care for in the garden, and is easily propagated by cuttings.
On Dec 27, 2010, dave12122 from East Haddam, CT wrote:
Probably the easiest hardy Opuntia to grow in the East, tolerating almost any abuse except total shade. However, the plants are extremely difficult to handle because of the numerous glochids and spines. USE GLOVES!!!
On Dec 2, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:
Another synonym of this plant is Opuntia compressa var. macrorhiza.
Naturally found in the southwestern and midwestern U.S.
The spines and pads are used medicinally.
The 'macrorhiza' variety has a less waxy, dull appearance than the 'pottsii' variety.
The pads on the 'macrorhiza' variety are larger up to 4 inches in length, while the pads of the 'pottsii' variety only reach 2.5 inches in length.
The 'macrorhiza' variety has only basically yellow flowers with red bases, and the 'pottsii' variety has the more reddish flowers.
The 'macrorhiza' variety is the most prevalent in the wild.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Chandler, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Bostonia, California East Haddam, Connecticut Chicago, Illinois Parsons, Kansas Rolla, Kansas Bucyrus, Ohio Cleveland, Ohio Lima, Ohio Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Clearfield, Pennsylvania Norwood, Pennsylvania Austin, Texas Broaddus, Texas Dalworthington Gardens, Texas Dodd City, Texas Lake Worth, Texas Lometa, Texas San Antonio, Texas Santa Fe, Texas Whitesboro, Texas Leesburg, Virginia Great Cacapon, West Virginia