Pronounciation: O-PUN-tee-a my-crow-DAY-sis
Landscape Use: Cactus rock gardens, small scale cactus ground cover, succulent accent, container plant, even street medians.
Form & Character: Mostly prostrate and spreading.
Growth Habit: Moderate to 2 feet in height, but faster spreading to 8 to 10 feet in diameter. Spread controlled when in container.
Foliage/texture: Fleshy, flattened stems (cladodes or commonly referred to as pads) are jointed, and orbicular to oblong, 6 inches across. New cladodes are generally reddish changing to medium or dark green. Areoles on cladodes are close set with many white, yellow, or rusty brown glochids in a conspicuous tuft, rarely with a short yellow spine. Smaller new pads atop older larger pads often arise in pairs that give the appearance of rabbit ears, thus the origin of the common name; moderately coarse textured.
Flowers & fruits: Flowers are white, yellow or magenta-pink red, 1.5 to 2 inches across on terminal ends of pads, fruit oblong, red, subglobose.
Seasonal color: Flowers in mid spring according to the calendar which is seasonally early summer in lower southwestern deserts.
Light: Full sun best, but will tolerate partial shade.
Soil: Well drained to dry soils.
Watering: Rarely after establishment.
Pruning: Prune only to control spread.
Propagation: Stem sections that are first allowed to callus take root easily.
Disease and pests: Root rot if soils are chronically wet and poorly drained.
Additional comments: Bunny ears cactus is an excellent small-scale prostrate and spreading plant for use in desert gardens as a ground cover. O. microdasys var. albasplina has white glochids, O. microdasys subspecies rufida has glochids that are more rusty brown colored. And here's a bunny ears called Opuntia microdasys var. pallida forma cristata with yellow glochids and fastigiated stem pads...very cool!!!