Austrocylindropuntia lagopus (K.Schum.) I.Crook, J.Arnold & M.Lowry
Opuntia lagopus, Austrocylindropuntia malyana, Punotia lagopus, Opuntia malyana, Tephrocactus lagopus, Maihueniopsis lagopus
Austrocylindropuntia lagopus is a cactus with cylindrical stems with fine, creamy-yellowish hair arising from areoles. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and up to 3.3 feet (1 m) in diameter, forming dense cushions. Stems are up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall. Leaves are green and up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) long. In habitat, the leaves are almost entirely hidden in the hair. Spines are yellow and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Flowers are diurnal, golden yellow, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Though the large variety of species within the Opuntia genus means different Prickly Pears may need slightly different care. All are desert cacti that need lots of sun, lots of light, and very little water. If you live in a hot, arid area, these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.
These cacti will grow just fine in a garden, but they can also be grown in pots. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the cactus in a new pot and backfill it with potting soil. As with a new cutting, ensure not to water a newly repotting Prickly Pear for a brief period to avoid rotting its roots.
Opuntia can propagate either by cuttings or by seed. To propagate by cuttings, sever pads from a plant and let them dry, so the wounds heal. Then place the plants in dry soil and refrain from watering them until they begin to grow to avoid rotting them.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Opuntia.
This species is native to Peru.
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