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Tephrocactus geometricus


Scientific Name

Tephrocactus geometricus (A. Cast.) Backeb.


Opuntia geometrica, Tephrocactus alexanderi var. geometricus

Scientific Classification

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


Tephrocactus geometricus is a small, globular, segmented cactus, up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall, loosely branched into small clumps. The segments are up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, blue-green to purple in full sun exposure. It is spineless, or with some spines sporadically present in the upper areoles. Flowers are white to light pink with a darker midstrip. Flowers last only one day.

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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 – particularly the American Southwest – 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, then remove the pot and knock away 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.


Native to western Argentina and Bolivia.


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