Scientific: Opuntia pycnantha (sy. Opuntia margaritana)
Common: Isla Magadalena prickly pear
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Baja California Sur and Magadalena Island.

Pronounciation: O-PUN-tee-a pick-NAN-the

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 13-24
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Cactus rock garden, ground cover, unusual textural accent cactus for small- to medium-sized desert landscape areas, xeriscapes.

Character: Much branched individual segmented stems upright, stiff, spreading, colorful.

Growth Habit: Upright and spreading, much branched, 2 to 3 feet in height with greater spread, moderately slow.

Foliage/texture: Stems are jointed into fleshy, rounded clades (padded stems). Glochids densely arrayed at aeroles with a pinkish to orange brown color, highly ornamental, shortened spines, 7 to 9 per areole that are appressed distinctly downward; coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Flowers are a brilliant yellow, 3 inches across, are borne on upper terminal margins of clades; fruit oblong, 2 to 3 inches long, red to purple.

Seasonal color: A profusion of flowers in mid spring, fruit in summer.

Temperature: Tolerant of desert heat and cold.

Light: Tolerates full sun, but some protection from western sun is best.

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Little to none after established. An occassional deep watering during the summer months will enhance appearance.

Pruning: Prune by removing pad segments of any length to encourage new clade (stem pad) growth.

Propagation: Clade (stem pad) cutting and layering are easiest, seed germinate between 68oF and 85oF.

Disease and pests: Root rot if soils are poorly drained.

Additional comments: Isla Magadalena prickly pear is a prized, small to intermediate-sized and shrubby cactus for desert gardens. This is a 'must have' species of Opuntia for cactus collectors world wide. The prominent glochids and spines are dangerous, so beware. Handle carefully.