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Opuntia microdasys var. albispina (Angel Wings)

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Scientific Name

Opuntia microdasys var. albispina Fobe

Common Names

Angel Wings, Polka Dots, Polka Dot Cactus, Honey Bunny, Bunny Ears, Alba Bunny Ears

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Tribe: Opuntieae
Genus: Opuntia

Description

Opuntia microdasys var. albispina is a freely clustering cactus with miniature pads. It forms a dense shrub up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and up to 5 feet (1.5 m) across. It has no spines, but instead has numerous white, hair-like glochids in dense clusters. The flowers are lemon yellow and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. They are followed by red fruits.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

A spot near a south-facing, unobstructed window is most likely to meet Bunny Ears Cactus' need for bright, direct sun. Windows with western or eastern exposure run as second and third choices. While an actively growing Bunny Ears Cactus tolerates indoor summer temperatures as high as 100 °F (38 °C), don't expect it to flower unless you also provide winter temperatures between 45 and 55 °F (7 and 13 °C). Regardless of the season, it likes humidity in the 10 to 30 percent range. Finally, if none of your windows provides adequate light, place the plant 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) below a cool white fluorescent tube for 14 to 16 hours each day.

The potting soil must drain quickly. Use a commercial cactus potting mix or mix your own. The best container for your cactus is a clay pot just slightly larger and deeper than the plant's root system. It must have drainage holes because a pot without them or a pot that's too large, could make proper watering impossible.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Bunny Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys).

Origin

Opuntia microdasys var. albispina is native to Mexico.

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