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Maihueniopsis bonnieae


Scientific Name

Maihueniopsis bonnieae (D.J. Ferguson & R. Kiesling) E.F. Anderson


Puna bonnieae (basionym), Opuntia bonnieae, Tephrocactus bonnieae

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Tribe: Tephrocacteae
Genus: Maihueniopsis


Maihueniopsis bonnieae is a small, geophytic opuntioid that looks like a small Tephrocactus geometricus, but the bloom, fruit and the seeds clearly show its autonomous nature. During the dry season, they are hidden in the ground. It slowly forms a small cushion up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. The stems are small, dull blue-green but turn to dirty grey as they age, usually globular and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. They are basally attached and did not detach easily from the mother plants. The spines are very short, pinkish, orangish, reddish to darker brown in the young stems, and turn to whitish-grey with age. The flowers are pale pink or pinkish, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.

Maihueniopsis bonnieae

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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 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, but 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Opuntia


Maihueniopsis bonnieae is native to Argentina.


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