Cactus and Succulents forum: Opuntia fragilis

Views: 1350, Replies: 13 » Jump to the end
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
Image
bearsearch
Sep 7, 2012 9:29 AM CST
I know this isn't a tender cacti but I can't seem to find a forum for hardy cacti. I was wondering if anyone grows Opuntia fragilis? It's native to the northern mid west and southern parts of the Canadian prairies. I've had some in my garden now for at least 8 years and I have never seen one single flower. Does this species flower? All my other hardy cacti have flowered and in much less time than 8 years. The clump is about 16 inches in diameter and 4 to 5 inches high. If it does flower what colour are they?
South Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America Region: Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Cactus and Succulents Purslane
Image
Justin
Sep 8, 2012 12:09 PM CST
Hello Brian

All species of Opuntia produce flowers.

Here pictures of Opuntia fargilis with flower in British Colombia

http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Show...

Many species of Opuntia developed a successful way of vegetative propagation. Opuntia fragilis
In some area for some species of Opuntia this is the first mechanism of multiplication. Opuntia fragilis it is in this situation in many habitat where they live.
In such habitat the population can be genetic identically and this is not favorable for sexual multiplication. That means by seeds.
I think that Int such situation it is possible they don't flower or have a rare flowering.
If it is so, capacity of flowering depend much of location from where the plants are. So for cultivated plants it is important the location from where they ancestors was colected.

Do you know the origin location of yours plants?

Opuntia fragilis live in few point in Ontario, Canada. This populations of Opuntia fragilis It is a mystery. I read that they are identical genetic and that show they was introduced in the area and was naturalized.
Some are known like Kaladar Cactus and are famous becaouse they live close to the Arctic Circle.

Here some links:

Page of Dr.Eric Ribbens an authority in the Opuntia field

http://faculty.wiu.edu/E-Ribbe...

http://faculty.wiu.edu/E-Ribbe...

http://faculty.wiu.edu/E-Ribbe...


Some interesting note here

http://dspace.hil.unb.ca:8080/... (mention about 'infrequency of flowering')

http://dspace.hil.unb.ca:8080/...

Here a very nice picture

http://holidayjunction.com/cac...

(Opuntia fragilis like many other species in the genus Opuntia have a big variability )


Here very intersting pictures (first five pictures) of Opuntia fragilis in habitat in Ontario, in one(the five picture) they have flower buds.

http://palmsnorth.com/forum/vi...


Maybe if you want to have Opuntia fragilis that blooms frequently a good idea is to get plants from locations where they bloom more regularly. But it is advisable to be form northern locations. Cold resistance of populations depends on the location of origin.

But that does not mean your plants are not interesting even if they are flowers. Even more considering the mystery of Opuntia in Ontario they can be very interesting.

Another possibility for the plants do not flower can be a lack in terms of culture. Is common in warmer areas that are not given proper rest they need winter and cacti are not flowers. But that's less interesting version Smiling


I think it would be interesting pictures of your Opuntia.
Do not worry about the word "tender" on forum name. In this case I think it reflects more the love of succulent plant lovers for their plants and not a narrow topic.




Justin
Name: Ângelo B. P. III
South Jordan, Utah, United Sta (Zone 7a)
🇧🇷🇺🇸
Cactus and Succulents Region: Utah Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Southwest Gardening Xeriscape Dog Lover
Garden Photography Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sempervivums Bookworm Enjoys or suffers hot summers Sedums
Image
BlueOddish
Sep 9, 2018 1:45 PM CST
I grow it! It grows wild very close to where I live together with O. polyacantha. I also have 3 cultivars of this species at the moment: 'Tiny Spiny', 'Potato', and 'Little Grey Mound'.
Eu sou Brasileiro! 🇧🇷
Eu falo Português!
Turn your lawns into gardens!
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
Plant Identifier Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Image
mcvansoest
Sep 9, 2018 1:58 PM CST
Here is a link to a website with photos of O. fragilis in flower and some more general information and more links to source with more detail. They also quote E. Ribbens who is mentioned and linked to by Justin above.

https://www.opuntiads.com/opun...

I live in the desert so cannot really provide you with any specific reasons why your plant is not flowering. Sounds like it might be a plant that rarely flowers to begin with, which probably means that it is finicky about the conditions for flowering to occur, so it may be good at surviving your climate, but it may require specific conditions for flowering to occur.

Anything else I can come up with would be even deeper into the realm of speculation. Where I live, the more I pamper my opuntias the less they flower, but what constitutes pampering in my climate is probably completely different in yours.

Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
Image
bearsearch
Nov 18, 2018 1:13 PM CST
Thanks for the info and the links. I might as well get rid of it then, my cactus garden isn't that big so I'd rather have plants that bloom.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 18, 2018 9:41 PM CST
Hi Brian,

I've always thought this forum was mis-labeled because most of us are growing hardy to someplace cactus. I have quite a few natives in my garden and there's nothing tender about them. Smiling

O. fragilis is native to about 2/3 of the U.S. and Canada - for some reason, the east coast and Ontario got left out. I think the point Justin was making is that, although O. fragilis is native to almost everywhere, there is a lot of variation within the species because of the physical barriers that divide a huge territory and so keep them separate.

Most bloom pale yellow but there is a pink variation. Usually, O. fragilis is a shy bloomer - only 1 or 2 flowers are open at any given time and they don't produce a lot of buds. If you are looking for a show, find O. polyacantha: bigger flowers, more colors and a good strong bloomer.

I'll go look for a photo and post it.

The pink Opuntia on the left is O. basilaris. It should not live this far north but I planted it against a south facing heat sink. The one in the middle is O. fragilis. This one actually blooms quite well but it is also pretty big. It did not bloom like this until it was over 10 years old. I have two pink O. fragilis that, if they have two flowers a summer, I feel lucky. But they are only about 3 - 4 years old. The orange one on the right is Echinocereus triglochidiatus.

Thumb of 2018-11-19/DaisyI/639594

PS: I don't think where the cactus comes from originally matters. If its cold hardy, its cold hardy. The O. basilaris spent the first 50 years of its life living first in Searchlight NV and later in Pahrump (near Las Vegas). I inherited it when my Uncle died. The Echinocereus triglochidiatus is from a nursery just outside Las Vegas. Both are doing fine in Reno.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
[Last edited by DaisyI - Nov 18, 2018 10:06 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1857784 (6)
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Nov 19, 2018 11:48 AM CST

Moderator

Thank you for all the informative comments and links, people.

I'm not a big fan of including "tender" in the title of this forum. If you have any opinion on the subject, please feel free to chime in on this thread:

The thread "Cactus & "tender" succulents forum" in Site Talk forum
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Nov 19, 2018 11:58 AM CST
'Tender' is really a relative term, isn't it? Some of the cacti I grow are tender for my winter temps, but not further south. Same with the aloes. All three of those I grow survive winters outdoors in Austin, but not for me prox. 200 miles north. Since the forum covers ALL cacti and succulents regardless of what may cause them to be tender and require special steps to grow, I'd think the word was superfluous in the title. Just about anything originating from South Africa is going to be tender here and a lot of things that come with 'Alpine' as part of the description is going to be difficult - the first due to winter low temps and the second due to excessive dry summer heat.

Just my opinion. It's not important to me one way or the other.
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Nov 19, 2018 12:03 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1858063 (8)
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
Image
bearsearch
Nov 20, 2018 10:17 PM CST
Hi Daisyl

I have other cacti besides the O. fragilis including an Echinocereus triglochidiatus, it has more reddish flowers. O. fragilis is found in isolated pockets in Ontario though it's uncertain how they got there as there is a huge gap between them and more western colonies. My O. fragilis is about 14 years old and has never had a single flower. I'm going to dispose of it or just stick it in a pot and see what it does. Here are some of my cacti.
Thumb of 2018-11-21/bearsearch/e44944
Thumb of 2018-11-21/bearsearch/989b42
Thumb of 2018-11-21/bearsearch/3cd3d7
Thumb of 2018-11-21/bearsearch/c91648
Thumb of 2018-11-21/bearsearch/08b849
Thumb of 2018-11-21/bearsearch/00671c

Name: Ângelo B. P. III
South Jordan, Utah, United Sta (Zone 7a)
🇧🇷🇺🇸
Cactus and Succulents Region: Utah Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Southwest Gardening Xeriscape Dog Lover
Garden Photography Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sempervivums Bookworm Enjoys or suffers hot summers Sedums
Image
BlueOddish
Nov 20, 2018 10:58 PM CST
My O. fragilis flowered the most after I moved/transplanted them.
Eu sou Brasileiro! 🇧🇷
Eu falo Português!
Turn your lawns into gardens!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 22, 2018 11:43 AM CST
Brian,

That is a beautiful and lush cactus garden! Lovey dubby
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
Image
plantmanager
Nov 22, 2018 12:27 PM CST
I agree, especially when I noticed where you live! Good growing!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 22, 2018 10:20 PM CST
I forgot to ask, what is the cactus that we can only see half of on the far right of the photo? It looks like Eve's Needle (Austrocylindropuntia subulata).
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Ângelo B. P. III
South Jordan, Utah, United Sta (Zone 7a)
🇧🇷🇺🇸
Cactus and Succulents Region: Utah Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Southwest Gardening Xeriscape Dog Lover
Garden Photography Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sempervivums Bookworm Enjoys or suffers hot summers Sedums
Image
BlueOddish
Nov 27, 2018 8:43 PM CST
This was the result of moving one of my plants into a pot temporarily.
Eu sou Brasileiro! 🇧🇷
Eu falo Português!
Turn your lawns into gardens!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Cactus and Succulents forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "August Caladiums"