Opuntia microdasys 

(o-pun' tee-ah my-crow-day' siss)

Common name: Bunny Ears

Family: Cactaceae, Cactus

Height x width: 18-24" x 18-24"

Growth rate: moderate

Shape: bushy, flattened almost round stems ("Mickey Mouse ears"), velvety green, 2-6" long; areoles close together with minute glochids (short barbed bristles), yellow to white areoles and glochids, no spines

Flowers: bright yellow to 2" across, bowl-shaped

Light: full sun

Temperature: warm, cool when inactive

Watering: well-watered when growing, dry otherwise

Fertility: high

Humidity: dry

Soil: cactus

Pests and Problems: stem and root rots, bacterial rot, scales, mealybugs

Growth habit, uses: desert gardens, pots

Other interest: native to Mexico; from the Greek name for a spiny plant associated with the ancient town of Opus; part of a large genus of over 200 species, quite variable in all characteristics, and often divided botanically into 11 groups

Other culture: keep from children and animals, and use caution when handling, as the glochids easily affix to skin and are difficult to see and remove; several layers of newspaper, which can be discarded after use, are best used to handle as glochids will become imbedded in gloves

Propagation: seeds, rooted stem segments

Related species, taxa:

var. albispinna--Honey Bunny, white glochids and areoles

rufida--Cinnamon Cactus, reddish brown areoles and glochids, otherwise similar

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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