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Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle Cactus)


Scientific Name

Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Muehlenpf.) Backeb.

Common Names

Eve’s Needle Cactus, Eve’s Pin Cactus, Long Spine Cactus


Pereskia subulata (basionym), Austrocylindropuntia exaltata, Opuntia exaltata, Cylindropuntia exaltata, Opuntia subulata, Cylindropuntia subulata

Scientific Classification

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


Austrocylindropuntia subulata is a large tree-like cactus, up to 13 feet (4 m) tall with round cylindrical joints up to 2 feet (60 cm) long and up to 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) thick. The green leaves are nearly cylindrical, up to 5 inches (13 cm) long. The spines are light yellow, 1 to 2 per areole, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. The flowers are red, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, followed by reddish to red fruits, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long.

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USDA hardiness zone 9a to 10b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °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 – 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.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids


Austrocylindropuntia subulata is native to the higher elevations of Ecuador and Peru.


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