Creeping Cactus, Little Prickly Pear
Opuntia pusilla

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Opuntia (op-UN-shee-a) (Info)
Species: pusilla (pus-ILL-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Cactus pusillus
Synonym:Opuntia drummondii
Synonym:Opuntia tracyi
Synonym:Opuntia macateei
Synonym:Opuntia pes-corvi

Category:

Cactus and Succulents

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:

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:

Pale 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

Regional

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

Coushatta, Louisiana

Hatteras, North Carolina

Sweetwater, Tennessee

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Jul 21, 2007, wtliftr from Wilson's Mills, NC wrote:

This plant grows extensively on NC's Barrier Islands. Incredibly easy to propagate from cuttings. Jointed pads break off readily. EXTREMELY sharp, barbed spines- use gloves when handling. Also beware of the glochids. Being a prickly pear, the plant and fruit are edible. Fruit is kind of sweet.

Neutral

On Jan 7, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Fruit is not known of this species. Blooms are large and pale yellow.