Opuntia Species, Prickly Pear Cactus

Opuntia sulphurea

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Opuntia (op-UN-shee-a) (Info)
Species: sulphurea (sul-FER-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Opuntia pampeana
Synonym:Opuntia vulpina

Category:

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Foliage:

Deciduous

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Danger:

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

Bloom Color:

Red-Orange

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

San Leandro, California

San Marino, California

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 12, 2018, Tom_in_Tucson from Casas Adobes, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The twisted spine form was propagated extensively by Gene Joseph of Plants for the Southwest in Tucson. That form also has thicker stems, and is very drought hardy. The local rodents will sample it, but don't seem to like it as well as the native species of prickly pear. It is very easy to root offsets, as are most Opuntias. It's cold hardiness is not an issue here in the Sonoran desert.

Neutral

On Jan 19, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The subspecies 'sulfurea' has 2-8 spines per areole and is native to northern Argentina.
The subspecies 'brachyacantha' has 2-6 spines per areole and is native to Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The subspecies ''spinibarbis' has 4-8 spines per areole and is native to Tarija, Bolivia.
All have sulphur yellow flowers

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