Opuntia Miller (1754)

(Greek "opos" = figs sap)
Because of the figs similar fruits or a combination of the Aztec name "nopali" (Spain "nopal" = Opuntia) and
(Latin "pungere" = prick) Prickly Pear.
By the natives as Tuna mentioned. In the 16th century by the Spanish imported and escaped to the climatic favorable Mediterranean region.
The Greek scholar Plinius designated a plant as Opuntia which occurred near the Greek town Opunet.
Curiously enough prevailed the name of the escaped Tuna, it became recognized as genus name later.

tree-like or shrubby, pads flat circular, also dwarf forms with globular pads; spines very different in number, lenght and color
flowers wide opening, mostly on the upper pad edge, yellow, whiteish-yellow, orange or shades of red
fruits large, firgs similar shaped, color different, partly eatable, partly used as fodder; seeds large, broad circular, flat

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Distribution

from Canada (British Columbia) thru the USA and Mexico to south Chile
steppes and mountains

Growth period

very sunny and hot, a location outdoors is possible and recommend
sufficient watering and fertilize, hardly sensitive to too much moisture
without sufficient fertilizer the plants begin to waste away
best time therefor is from March to May, at least it should be consumed the nitrogen reserves in June
the best is to use a complete fertilizer therefor

Winter period

complete dry at about 42–50 F (6–10°C)

Soil-mixture

nutritious, permeable to water and porous
addition of some humus, quartz gravel, pumice, expanded slate, expanded clay is recommendable
do not choose the pots too small
   
Opuntia rutila Nuttall (1840)
 
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Opuntia rutila 'mini'        
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Habitat

USA
Colorado, Wyoming

Description

yellow-red Opuntia
low spreading, also procumbent, stem segments to 3.9 in (10 cm) long,
1 in (2.5 cm) wide, flatt to trigonal, cylindrical or ovate, later more flattened,
when young less spined
areoles to 0.6 in (1.5 cm) distant, white, brown or both

1–6 spines, sidewards or downwards spreading
flowers to 2.4 in (6 cm) Ø, roseate, yellow or shades, stigma green
fruits yellow

Flowering time

June–July in cultivation

Comment

Opuntia rutila is with protection against rain and moisture cold hardy to ca. -4 F (- 20°C).
Synonyms Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha -
CITES Appendix II
 
Description of "Kakteen von A bis Z" by Walter Haage with courtesy by Kakteen-Haage made available.

 

 

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