Opuntia ID, please...

TT, zone 5b MAOctober 24, 2011

Hi -

I have had this opuntia for a number of years...I have never been able to confidently ID it. Thought it might be opuntia microdasys, but that didn't appear totally right to me.

Any help is appreciated...and, btw, how cold hardy is it? Is the corkiness okay?

Thanks!

T

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lzrddr(91360)

looks like an unhappy Opuntia microdasys var rufida.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:20PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Why do you say it looks unhappy? I do neglect it, but is there something I should be doing to increase its joy?

Thanks.

T

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:24PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

....ah, so I found some pics of what it should look like! I have had this plant since before I knew anything about caring for cacti, so perhaps I was culturally (even more) abusive back then!

Perhaps this is corky scab? Is it just cosmetic, and will not continue if I change my ways, or something more insidious than that?

Thanks!

Tom

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:25PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

This is not a Opuntia macrodasy ver rufida. Look at the shape of the pads. They are not elongate ovals. Your right it is not totally right. The pads are round and thicker. It is Opuntia rufida AKA clock face prickly pear, Blind PP, Owl face PP. Clock face is also a common name for Opuntia clorotica so don't get confused.

http://www.cactusbylin.com/category/31332132

- Mara

Here is a link that might be useful: Opuntia rufida

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:56PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Mara -

The link you sent to Opuntia rufida (Opuntia herrfeldtii) looks very close! It even shows the corkiness that mine has (not sure if that is totally okay, however...). Common name is said to be Blind pear. It also says it does not tolerate cold and wet as well than other opuntia, which may explain the corkiness, perhaps?

Thanks!

T

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 6:27AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I think it a heat and a cold thing. Lots of PP in the wild are corky as all get out. It grows in the Big Bend area. and on my bridge. Here It had a rough winter into the middle teens and it didn't much like it high up in the air. Lived through it but I think it did not appreciate being up in the air away from a nice warm rock. It rested through this hot summer.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:53PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

That's it! Yours is almost as blemished as mine - yay!

BTW, does yours ever flower? Mine never has...

Thanks, again.

T

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:57PM
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cactusgarden

The reason it looks corky like that is because its been in a pot for so many years and it can't grow new pads so it just sits and callouses what is there. This happens on very old pads but you don't notice so much since the cactus usually has new pads forming each year. The original pad becomes kind of like a tree trunk. The roots need stretch out and and grow horizontal, usually a few feet. That cactus is not growing.

You might try a much wider, more shallow pot instead of a regular flower pot to give it a chance to stretch out the roots which are most likely girdled around the pot. They don't need the depth, just the width, the roots grow fast if they have a place to grow.

That is why it looks sad.

If opuntias don't get water in summer, they don't grow, they just survive. Water it when it gets completely dry in summer for good growth and not at all in winter.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 5:46AM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Cactusgarden -

Methinks you are on to something with the pot size. It was severely underpotted until mid-summer. It is now in a larger pot with room for growth. That said, come next growing season, I will go wider as you suggest.

As far as water, this plant is outdoors all summer. It gets plenty of water during the growing season, and very little to none (it is protected) during the winter.

Thanks!

T

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 11:15AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I got my plant from Cactusgarden. She be the mama and she grows most everything in the ground outside of its Zone.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 12:16AM
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juliebees2009(7)

OK y'all be patient wih me I live in a area where its to damp for outside cactus..thus said I am dieing to have in my home a clock face cacti I dont care if I have to get a dozier to pick it up as it gets older I have a very large barrel cacti that I have on wheels, and something thats about 3 foot with leaves tiny thorns and it is a cactus I can not grow jade I think its the moisture we have.
I looked up on line to fine a large clock face but no luck Its just so great we can go anywhere in the USA and find different types of plants according to the areas your at.

If anyone knows where to order the very large clock face cacti please let me know and thanks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:12AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

After another year of growth.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:46AM
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juliebees2009(7)

the one I saw is being potted up for roots and its almost 12 inch's across....it huge and a single pad it fills up a pot there is one on you tube but I do not remember how I ran across it. this are large pads and he has his outside in a garden he was selling them but I could not find the web page it said no longer a page. sooo my search continues

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:18PM
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range_roser(Qld)

This is definitely not Opuntia rufida. Opuntia rufida does not typically have perfectly round cladodes, nor does it possess a very waxy, glaucous (i.e. bluish) epidermis. The plant in your photos is often found in cacti collections and has proven difficult to ID. It is frequently labelled Opuntia azurea, however I have it on good authority that true forms of that species should possess spines with sparse glochids, whereas the one in your photo is typically spineless and with moderately dense glochids. However the flower is typical of O. azurea. There are two varieties of azurea with less spines than the typical variety, being varieties parva and diplopurpurea (but these two varieties still possess spines). So it may be a rare spineless form of O. azurea. I personally wonder if it is a hybrid involving either O. basilaris and O. azurea, or more likely O. aciculata and O. azurea. A spineless form of O. chlorotica may also be involved. But having said that, it does appear to be very widespread (i.e. worldwide) in cultivation, so perhaps it does reproduce true from seed. If this is the case, it must be a true species in its own right. The closest match flower-wise is Opuntia azurea (but lacking spines and with rounder cladodes!). I do not believe it is O. rufida, but of course the flower shape and color will be the ultimate test. I strongly suspect that your plant will flower exactly like O. azurea and not O. rufida. I have an identical plant in my collection and its flowers are a perfect match for O. azurea.

This post was edited by range_roser on Tue, Nov 11, 14 at 23:44

    Bookmark   November 11, 2014 at 11:33PM
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