Alphabetical Plant Listing

Opuntia engelmannii (Engelmann Prickly Pear)

Engelmann Prickly Pear, Cactus Apple


Opuntia engelmannii (Engelmann Prickly Pear) is a bushy succulent shrub with light green or bluish green, egg-shaped, fleshy pads, up to 12 in. across (30 cm). It forms sizeable clusters and grows either upright or spreading. The spines are quite short, up to 1 in. long (2.5 cm), and are often white, tan, brown, or even pale yellow, before they fade to gray with age. Sitting on the outer edges of the pads, masses of stunning yellow to orange flowers appear in spring to summer. They are followed by juicy, purple-red fruits, up to 2 in. long (5 cm), which add interest to the plant after the flowers have disappeared. Edible, the fruit is most often used for jams, jelly or syrups.

  • Typically grows up to 3-6 ft. tall and wide (90-180 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade, in well-drained soils. This plant tolerates a wide variety of soils as long as they are well-draining. Although drought tolerant, this plant looks best if watered every 3-4 weeks in the hottest part of the summer.
  • This low-maintenance plant is a great choice for xeriscape gardens, desert gardens, Mediterranean gardens and cactus gardens. Will make a fine hedge that will deter most traffic.
  • This remarkable plant is deer resistant and is easy to care for.
  • Generally disease-free.
  • Propagate from woody stem cuttings or from seed.
  • Native to south-central and southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Missouri, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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(c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Missouri, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Opuntia

Guides with Opuntia

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