(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.
Some of the information in this description has been found at desert-tropicals.com, llifle.com and cactus-art.biz
|Common Name||Golden spied prickly pear|
|Frost Tolerance||-7° C|
|Growth Rate||Slow growth|
|Hardiness Zone||8b to 11|
|Scientific Name||Opuntia macrocentra|
|Shape||Fleshy oval pads (pencas)|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|