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Austrocylindropuntia lagopus


Scientific Name

Austrocylindropuntia lagopus (K.Schum.) I.Crook, J.Arnold & M.Lowry


Opuntia lagopus (basionym), Austrocylindropuntia malyana, Punotia lagopus, Opuntia malyana, Tephrocactus lagopus, Maihueniopsis lagopus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Tribe: Austrocylindropuntieae
Genus: Austrocylindropuntia


Austrocylindropuntia lagopus is a low growing cactus, forming very dense, large cushions to several meters in diameter and a height of 2 feet (60 cm). From the areoles arise very fine, up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long, creamy-yellowish hair. Stems are cylindrical and up to 1 feet (30 cm) tall, sometimes shorter and globose. Leaves are green and up to 0.3 inch (7 mm) long. In habitat the leaves are almost entirely hidden in the hair. The spine is yellow and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Flowers are golden yellow, barely emerging from bristles at anthesis, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long.

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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 – particularly the American Southwest – these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.

Though Opuntia will grow just fine in a garden, they can be grown in pots as well. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, then remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the prickly pear 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Opuntia.


Native to Peru.


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