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Opuntia aciculata

Pronunciation: Op-un-shee-a ass-sik-yoo-lay-ta
Family: Cactaceae
Synonym: Opuntia lindheimeri var. Aciculata, opuntia engelmannii var. Aciculata
Common Name: Red flower prickly pear cactus of chenille cactus
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 3'
Width to: 4'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
  • 60 to 50ºF ZONE 12
Notes for Identification: Origin: texas south into chihuahuan desertshardiness zones: sunset 8-24 usda 8-12landscape use: cactus rock garden, ground cover, accent plant for small to medium sized desert landscape areascharacter: stiff cuddly and fuzzy, deceptivegrowth habit: somewhat upright and spreading to 3 tall with generally a 4 spread when mature, growth rate is moderately slowfoliage/texture: stems are jointed into circular fleshy greenish pads. Pads are uniquely covered with areoles containing a dense array of brown glochids and no spines, small new pads in spring contain ephemeral cone-like leaves; coarse textureflowers & fruits: flowers are a brilliant apricot vermillion color, 2" to 3" across and are borne on upper terminal margins of pads; fruit oblong, 2"-3" long, red to purple, edibleseasonal color: a profusion of flowers in mid spring, fruit in summertemperature: highly tolerant of desert heatlight: full sunsoil: tolerantwatering: none after establishedpruning: prune by removing pad segments of any length to control spreadpropagation: cutting and dispersal of padsdisease and pests: root rot, cochineal scaleadditional comments: red flower prickly pear is an excellent very nice spreading cactus for small to medium size formal desert cactus gardens. The species name "aciculata" comes from the latin for "covered with small pins (that were used for headdresses)" - referring to the conspicuous glochids. Source: asu
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Succulents
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