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 that grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and up to 3.3 feet (1 m) in diameter, forming dense cushions. Stems are cylindrical and up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall, with very fine, creamy-yellowish hair that arises from areoles. Leaves are green and up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) long. In habitat, the leaves are almost entirely hidden in the hair. The 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 types of 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 be grown in pots as well. 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, make sure 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 that 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.
Austrocylindropuntia lagopus is native to Peru.
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