Alphabetical Plant Listing

Opuntia macrocentra (Black-Spine Prickly Pear)

Black-Spine Prickly Pear, Purple Prickly Pear, Red-joint Prickly Pear, Texas Santa Rita


Striking in any setting, Opuntia macrocentra (Black-Spine Prickly Pear) is a bushy succulent shrub with colorful, round, ovate, fleshy pads. Covered with long dark spines, generally at the top of the pads, the pads often turn purple or magenta in cold weather or in drought, before changing back to blue-green with warmer temperatures. This plant spreads sideways more than upwards, and does not develop a central trunk. Sitting on the outer edges of the pads, large, bright yellow flowers adorned with a red heart, 3 in. across (7 cm), appear in spring, creating a stunning contrast with the purple pads. They are followed by showy reddish-purple fruits which attract attention and remain through the winter, making Opuntia macrocentra a very decorative cactus in the landscape. Cold hardy.

  • Typically grows up to 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm) and 3-6 ft. 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. Drought tolerant once established.
  • This low-maintenance plant is a great choice for xeriscape gardens, rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens and desert gardens.
  • 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 southeast Arizona, southern New Mexico, far west Texas.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 11
Climate Zones 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 72" (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, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
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 6 – 11
Climate Zones 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 72" (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, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Opuntia

Guides with Opuntia

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