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Opuntia microdasys subsp. rufida (Cinnamon Bunny Ears)

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Scientific Name

Opuntia microdasys subsp. rufida (Engelm.) U. Guzmán & Mandujano.

Common Names

Blind Prickly Pear, Blind Pear, Cow Blinder, Cinnamon Cactus, Clock Face Cactus, Cactus Red Bunny Ears, Cinnamon Pear, Cinnamon Bunny Ears

Synonyms

Opuntia rufida (basionym), Opuntia herrfeldtii, Opuntia lubrica, Opuntia microdasys var. rufida, Ountia rufida var. tortiflora

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Opuntia microdasys subsp. rufida, also known as Opuntia rufida, is a much-branched cactus that forms a dense shrub up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. Stems are jointed into fleshy, rounded pads that are various in color, from lucid purple when young to glacous blue with age. Glochids are densely arrayed, grayish to reddish brown. Flowers are yellow to bright orange-red and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. Fruits are rounded, fleshy, with very short spines, yellow-green ripening to red and 1 inch (2.5 cm) long.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °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 subsp. rufida is native to Mexico (Coahuila, Chihuahua) and the United States (Texas).

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