Opuntia Species, Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia sulphurea

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

Synonym:Opuntia pampeana

Synonym:Opuntia vulpina

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 Color

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)

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

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

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

Bloom Color
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics

Bloom Size

Bloom Time
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details

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

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