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Austrocylindropuntia lagopus

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Scientific Name

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

Synonyms

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

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Austrocylindropuntia lagopus is a low-growing cactus that forms dense cushions up to 2 feet (60 cm) and up to 3.3 feet (1 m) in diameter. The stems are cylindrical and up to 1 feet (30 cm) tall. From the areoles arise very fine, up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long, creamy-yellowish hair. The leaves are green and up to 0.3 inch (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. The flowers are, diurnal golden yellow and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long.

Photo via tephro.com

Hardiness

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, bu 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 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 a 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.

Origin

Austrocylindropuntia lagopus is native to Peru.

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