This is one bone hardy cactus as long it is grown in full sun, in a substrate with good drainage. As a ‘non-believer’ by nature I started to grow it in our small sunny rockery and after just a couple of years I had to gift it away. If happy with the place, it grows very fast…
Although not a plant for a small space it is excellent for the sun-baked areas of the garden as a groundcover; also in scree gardens or any other sunny, dry locations where very few others can grow. An idea for a tropical look is to grow it in an outside tall container that will ‘bubble’ with the green, flat branches. Towards the winter they will shrivel and take on a reddish colour.
Like any Opuntia it forms flattened green stem segments with tiny barbed bristles. The flowers are very beautiful – large, deep yellow with red centres and many stamens; visited by many pollinators! The mature fruits are red and edible.
Easy to propagate by rooting stem pieces, but if someone doesn’t have access to them, here are just a few seeds I found.
Germination: easy, usually better after a few months of dry storage.