Monday, 1 February 2016

Bunny Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

W&N watercolour on Aqua 300gsm watercolour paper – 8″ × 12″

My Bunny Ears cactus on my patio (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

These cacti originated in the wild (North and Central Mexico) and are popular garden and house plants here in South Africa. I bought my Bunny Ears last summer and after a nice rest this past winter, is now showing lots of new ‘ears’. I’m just wondering if I will have any flowers while it is in a pot…
Opuntia microdasys forms a dense shrub 40–60 cm tall, occasionally more, composed of pad-like stems 6–15 cm long and 4–12 cm broad.

Opuntia microdasys has no spines, but instead has numerous white or yellow glochids 2–3 mm long in dense clusters; these detach very easily on being touched, and can cause considerable skin irritation, so the plants must be treated with caution. Despite this, it is a very popular cactus in cultivation.

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