General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Plant Height: 3 feet or more
Fruit: Showy
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Erosion control
Guardian plant
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Needs specific temperature: 68-86 degrees
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Seeds may be extremely slow to germinate
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Individual pads form new plants; they must dry and callous for 10 days before planting
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Awards and Recognitions: RHS AGM

Common names
  • Bunny Ears
  • Angel's Wings
  • Polka Dot Cactus
  • Cegador
  • Prickly Pear
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Opuntia microdasys
  • Synonym: Opuntia microdasys var. pallida
  • Synonym: Opuntia microdasys var. albispina
  • Synonym: Opuntia microdasys subsp. microdasys
  • Synonym: Opuntia microdasys subsp. rufida

This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by Macrocentra (Ontario, Canada - Zone 6b) on May 11, 2021 10:16 PM concerning plant:
    Opuntia microdasys is native to Mexico and parts of Arizona. It's a relatively small Opuntia species, with a lower growth habit, making it an excellent option for smaller gardens or container culture. It is a fairly forgiving species, making it a good choice as a first Opuntia.

    The thick, oval-shaped pads grow in pairs, hence the common name "Bunny Ear cactus". Newer pads have a reddish color, gradually switching to green as they mature. While this species doesn't have long spines like most Opuntias, it is covered in tufts of short, fine white or yellow bristles called glochids. The glochids can be quite irritating, difficult to remove, and are easily dislodged at the lightest touch. Gloves are recommended when handling this species.

    This plant prefers to be kept outdoors in higher temperatures, but its relatively small size allows it to be more easily brought inside to overwinter if frost is a risk. While the plant requires high temperatures during the growing season, it should ideally be given a "cool-off" period over winter with lower temperatures (around 50-55 F), whether being grown indoors or outdoors. Allowing a cool-off period will increase the chance of summer blooms.

    O. microdasys can successfully be grown indoors in containers if sufficient sunlight is available, though they'll be slower-growing than outdoor specimens. I keep a few specimens indoors year-round in my brightest windows.

    Like other Opuntias, O. microdasys is very easy to propagate through cuttings. Remove a pad at its joint, allow to heal, and plant. The pad will root quite easily.
Plant Events from our members
piksihk On November 23, 2021 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
piksihk On October 6, 2018 Obtained plant
Mercer swap
tabbycat On August 15, 2021 Potted up
Out grew cute bunny pot so put in purple stemmed drink glass.
tabbycat On March 23, 2021 Miscellaneous Event
About doubled but long droppy pad
tabbycat On March 17, 2020 Miscellaneous Event
Putting out new fuzzy pads so plant is growing. Still happy in bunny pot
hlutzow On February 2, 2020 Obtained plant
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
My bunny ears... by plantmanager Jun 21, 2018 11:47 AM 1
ID question by Baja_Costero Feb 10, 2018 3:17 PM 3

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