Alphabetical Plant Listing

Opuntia microdasys (Bunny Ears)

Bunny Ears, Polka Dot Cactus, Angel's Wings, Cegador


A most attractive cactus, Opuntia microdasys (Bunny Ears) is a bushy, perennial cactus with oval to round, flattened, small pads, up to 6 in. across (15 cm). Red when new, the pads appear in pairs, like the ears of a rabbit, and mature to a soft, velvety green as they grow. They are spineless, but densely spotted with neatly spaced, white areoles, each bearing white, yellow or reddish-brown bristle-like spines. Sitting on the outer edges of the pads, large, pure yellow or tinged with red, bowl-shaped flowers, up to 2 in. wide (5 cm), are produced in spring or early summer. Not often seen on plants grown in pots, the blossoms appear in abundance on plants grown in open ground. The flowers will turn into 2 in. long fruits (5 cm), varying from purple to red in color. Opuntia microdasys is a very decorative cactus which adds beauty to the garden year-round.

  • Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Typically grows up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 4-5 ft. wide (120-150 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade in well-drained soils. Once established, needs only occasional watering. Allow compost to dry before watering during the growth period. Withhold water in winter when dormant. Drought tolerant once established.
  • This low-maintenance plant is a great choice for xeriscape gardens, rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens and desert gardens. Lovely in containers too.
  • This remarkable plant is deer resistant and is easy to care for.
  • Generally disease-free. Watch for scale insects or mealy bugs.
  • Propagate from woody stem cuttings or from seed.
  • Native to central and northern Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 12
Heat Zones 9 – 12
Climate Zones 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 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 4' – 5' (120cm – 150cm)
Spacing 60" (150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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deaw59 / 123RF Stock Photo, (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 – 12
Heat Zones 9 – 12
Climate Zones 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 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 4' – 5' (120cm – 150cm)
Spacing 60" (150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Opuntia

Guides with Opuntia

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