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Also known as Opuntia humifusa
|Size:||1-2 (4) ft tall by 1-3 ft wide|
|Life Span:||Long-lived perennial|
|Noted for:||Showy flowers, Showy fruits, Interesting foliage, Thorns|
|Recommended Uses:||Can be used as a small specimen plant or as a low-growing hedge that is sure to keep out intruders.|
|Considerations:||Thorns! This plant has thorns and prickles that will attack the unwary. They make weeding difficult, and the plant needs to be where no one will accidentally step on it.|
|Propagation:||Fragments of an existing plant.|
always floodedextremely dry
|(Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)|
|Moisture Tolerance:||Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods|
|Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:||Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.|
|Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:||High. Can tolerate significant and ongoing amounts of salty wind and salt spray without injury.|
|Soil or other substrate:||Sand|
|Native Habitats:||Scrub, scrubby flatwoods, sandhill, xeric disturbed areas.|
Distribution and Planting Zones
Natural Range in Florida
Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 9A 9B
USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures
|Ethnobotany:||Hispanic people use a fruits (called tunas) to make jams and syrups. They also slice the pads (nopales) into thin strips, grill them, and serve with a lime juice.|
Rarely grown but worthy of consideration in hot dry locations where the thorns are not an issue or are an asset.
O. austrina is considered to be a Florida endemic.