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Opuntia elatior (Red-Flower Prickly Pear)

Red-Flower Prickly Pear, Broad Prickly Pear, Cactus tuna var. elatior, Opuntia bergeriana, Opuntia megalantha, Opuntia nigricans

Opuntia elatior, Red-Flower Prickly Pear, Broad Prickly Pear, Cactus tuna var. elatior, Opuntia bergeriana, Opuntia megalantha, Opuntia nigricans, succulent, cactus, drought tolerant plant
Opuntia elatior, Red-Flower Prickly Pear, Broad Prickly Pear, Cactus tuna var. elatior, Opuntia bergeriana, Opuntia megalantha, Opuntia nigricans, succulent, cactus, drought tolerant plant

Opuntia elatior (Red-Flower Prickly Pear) is a big succulent shrub, eventually becoming tree-like, with a well-defined primary trunk and a profusion of flat, oblong, olive green pads, up to 16 in. long (40 cm). Bright white, needle-like spines (aging to gray-brown) are clustered in groups of 2-8. Sitting on the outer edges of the pads, a profusion of large, long-lasting, orange or reddish flowers appear in spring or summer. They are followed by egg-shaped fruits, that ripen to reddish-pink.

  • Typically grows up to 3-8 ft. tall and wide (90-240 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in well-drained soils. This plant tolerates a wide variety of soils as long as they are well-draining. Extra water during the dry summer months is encouraged but seldom needed. Drought tolerant once established.
  • This low-maintenance plant is a great choice for xeriscape gardens, Mediterranean gardens and desert gardens.
  • This remarkable plant is deer resistant and is easy to care for.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • Propagate from stem cuttings.
  • Red-Flower Prickly Pear is regarded as a potential environmental weed in many parts of Australia.
  • Native to northern South America, southern Central America and the southern Lesser Antilles.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Cactaceae
Genus Opuntia
Common names Prickly Pear, Cactus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 8'
(90cm - 240cm)
Spread 3' - 8'
(90cm - 240cm)
Spacing 84" - 96"
(210cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Opuntia rufida (Blind Prickly Pear)
Opuntia fragilis (Brittle Prickly Pear)
Opuntia santa-rita Tubac™ (Santa Rita Prickly Pear)
Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle Cactus)
Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla)
Cylindropuntia echinocarpa (Silver Cholla)

Recommended Companion Plants

Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’
Dasylirion acrotrichum (Green Desert Spoon)
Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe)
Delosperma cooperi (Ice Plant)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

A Striking Water-Wise Border with Aloe, Cactus and Aeonium
Succulents
Opuntia (Prickly Pear)
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Great Shrubs as Companion Plants for Your Succulents
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Cactaceae
Genus Opuntia
Common names Prickly Pear, Cactus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 8'
(90cm - 240cm)
Spread 3' - 8'
(90cm - 240cm)
Spacing 84" - 96"
(210cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Opuntia (Prickly Pear)
Not sure which Opuntia (Prickly Pear) to pick?
Compare Now

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