(This plant comes in a 3.5 inch pot. All of our plants are grown under the same conditions, although not all the plants are the same. You will receive a similar plant in size and shape to the ones in the pictures. Our plants are hand-picked and carefully selected to bring you the best quality possible. Please allow us up to 3 business days to process your order. If you wish to receive your order on a specific date, or have special instructions, please add a note at the checkout . The plant is shipped in its pot to prevent any damage to the roots).
Opuntia macrocentra Sapphire Wave
Description: The Purple Prickly Pear (Opuntia macrocentra) is a ground-hugging branched shrub up to 60-120 cm tall, up to 3 m wide. The red-tinged succulent pads and very long spines (macrocentra means long spine) easily distinguish it from the many other species of prickly pear. The purple tinge is greatest around the areoles and on the edges, although the entire plant may be purple in winter.
The purple tinge is due to betalain pigment (presumably one particular compound, betacyanin) most evident when the plants are stressed by cold or drought.
Spines: Most commonly 1-4, produced in areoles only on the upper margin of the pad, usually 3 to 7 cm long
Flowers: 5-10 cm long, 6-7 cm in diameter, yellow with brilliant red throat often not opening fully, and in some plants the red pigment extends like a "mid-stripe" on the tepals (rare in Opuntia
Blooming season: Spring-summer, flowers usually last only one day, opens in the middle of the morning and close at night.
Fruits: Ovoid, succulent and juicy at maturity with few areoles, 2,5-4 cm long, purple to pinkish red, edible maturing in summer-autumn. Each fruit has between 12-16 areoles. The umbilicus is deeply concave and the inner pulp and juices are light purple to clear in colour.
Cultivation and Propagation: This is a a much decorative frost hardy cactus. It is a summer grower species that offers no cultivation difficulties. Its purple pads provide a striking accent for an otherwise dormant cactus garden.
Water: In summer, during the vegetative period, it must be regularly watered, but allowing the substratum to completely dry up before irrigating again (but do not overwater ); in winter, it's to be kept dry. Preferable not to water on overcast days, humid days or cold winter days.
Hardiness: It is a quite frost resistant cactus, hardy to -7° C (- 12° C or less if very dry). However in cultivation it is better not to expose it to temperatures lower than -0° C, even if in an aerated and protected location, in order to avoid the formation of anti-aesthetic spots on the epidermis. USDA Zone 6-10. It can handle extremely high temperatures in summer.
Exposure: Outside full sun or afternoon shade, inside needs bright light, and some direct sun.
Colder regions warning: If you are expecting temperatures below 40 degrees within the next five days after placing your order, we highly recommend adding a heat pack to your order. We are now offering 72-hour heat packs for an additional $3.00. If your order is $50.00 or more, you will get a heat pack free of charge. To prevent plants from freezing while in transit, orders placed for areas with extreme severe freezing temperatures will be held for shipment until it is save to ship. Care instructions: Care instructions are included in every package you order. Shipping details and customer service policy: We ship via USPS Priority Mail. We calculate the shipping cost based on the weight and volume of your purchase. Depending on your location, we will ship the plants on a certain day to avoid transit time during weekends or holidays. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us at any time.
Some of the information in this description has been found at desert-tropicals.com, llifle.com and cactus-art.biz