Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis A.Berger
Brazilian Prickley Pear
Brasiliopuntia argentina, Brasiliopuntia bahiensis, Brasiliopuntia neoargentina, Brasiliopuntia schulzii, Brasiliopuntia subacarpa, Brasilopuntia brasiliensis, Cactus brasiliensis, Cactus arboreus, Cactus heterocladus, Cactus paradoxus, Opuntia argentina, Opuntia bahiensis, Opuntia brasiliensis, Opuntia neoargentina, Opuntia schulzii
Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis is a tree-like cactus that grows up to 66 feet (20 m) tall. It shows thin, slightly shrunken cladodes on a central cylindrical trunk. Leaves are small and bright green. White areoles bear reddish or brow, upright, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long spines. Flowers are pale yellow to bright yellow-orange, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, and with a diameter equal to the length. They appear only on adult plants. Fruits are yellow, orange-red, red or purple, pear-shaped, and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Though the large variety of species within the Opuntia genus means different Prickly Pears may need slightly different care. All are desert cacti that need lots of sun, light, and very little water. So 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 also be grown in pots. 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.
This species is found in Brazil, Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, Peru, northern Argentina and has become naturalized in Florida, among other places.
- Back to genus Brasiliopuntia
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.