Cumulopuntia boliviana (Salm-Dyck) F.Ritter
Austrocylindropuntia boliviana, Cumulopuntia boliviana subsp. boliviana, Maihueniopsis boliviana, Opuntia boliviana, Tephrocactus bolivianus
Cumulopuntia boliviana is a cactus that forms dense, often large cushions of green stem segments armed with yellow to reddish-brown spines. It spreads to 3.3 feet (1 m) or more in diameter. The stem segments are egg-shaped to elongate, tuberculate, and measure up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The tubercles are initially well delimited, later obscure, and mostly on upper portions of segments. The spines are erect to somewhat spreading and can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) long. Each areole bears 1 to 10 spines, sometimes with a few bristles.
The flowers are yellow, rarely orange, pink, or red, with bristly pericarpels above, and can reach up to 2 inches (5 cm) in length and 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. The fruits are fleshy, green to yellowish, usually subspherical, about 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, and typically spineless but sometimes with a few bristles.
USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °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. So, if you live in a hot, arid area, 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, remove the pot, and remove 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.
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