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Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata (Crested Eve's Needle)


Scientific Name

Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata

Accepted Scientific Name

Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Muehlenpf.) Backeb.

Common Names

Crested Eve's Needle


Austrocylindropuntia subulata 'Cristata', Opuntia subulata f. cristata, Cylindropuntia subulata f. cristata

Scientific Classification

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


Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata is a rare, crested form of Austrocylindropuntia subulata. The crested branches slowly form delightful, snaky, ridged, or crowded hemispherical clusters. These crested plant sometimes throws off normal stems that produce flowers, while the crested growth won't flower at all.


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.

As desert cacti, Prickly Pears require maximum sunlight to thrive and should be kept in direct sunlight whenever possible. Very little water is required. These drought-resistant plants grow best in hot, dry areas, and excessive water could cause them to rot. Hot temperatures are best, but these cacti will tolerate an extensive range of temperatures. The most important soil requirement for Opuntia is that it drains well. Other than that, a basic potting soil is fine. These cacti will grow in rock gardens, as well.

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.


Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata is a crested form of Austrocylindropuntia subulata.


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