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Opuntia engelmannii

Pronunciation: Oh-pun-tee-a eng-gel-man-ee- eye
Family: Cactaceae
Common Name: Texas prickly pear, nopal prickly pear, lindheimer prickly pear, cactus apple, cow's tongue cactus. Common names are usually specific to the varietal selection
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 11'
Width to: 3'
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: variously located at elevations below 4,500 ft. In the northern sonoran and chihuahuan deserts from california to texas south into mexico hardiness zones: sunset 8, 9, 12-24 usda 8 landscape use: cactus rock garden, barrier, screen, textural accent for large desert landscape areas only form & character: much branched; this is a cactus species with much phenotypic variation ranging from strongly upright and arborescent to spreading. Growth habit: moderate growth rate with great variation is mature size. Most cultured plants have unique varietal growth habits foliage/texture: stems are jointed into fleshy pads that are oblong to elongate. Only immature and developing pads have short, fleshy cylindrical green leaves, otherwise pads are leafless. All pads do have areoles with dense and tufted glochids and spines (variable) ranging in color from white to red depending on varietal selection. As just mentioned the presence of spines is variable. When present they are usually to 3" long, translucent, and range from white to red, coarse texture flowers & fruits: yellow, pink, magenta to red flowers, 3"-4" across, are borne on upper terminal margins of pads; fruit oblong, 2"-3" long, red to purple, edible seasonal color: flowers in mid to later spring, fruit in summer temperature: tolerant light: full sun soil: tolerant watering: none after established pruning: prune by removing pad segments of any length to control spread propagation: cutting and dispersal of pads disease and pests: root rot, cochineal scale can colonize in areas with protected areas with poor air circulation. Additional comments: this cactus has many named varietal selections upon which selection and use in the phoenix landscape is determined. Some important varietal selections include:o. Engelmannii var. Aciculatao. Engelmannii var. Cancanipao. Engelmannii var. Cuijao. Engelmannii var. Dulceso. Engelmannii var. Engelmanniio. Engelmannii var. Flavispinao. Engelmannii var. Flexospinao. Engelmannii var. Lindheimerio. Engelmannii var. Linguiformiso. Engelmannii var. Texana 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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