Is this a prickly pear?

Star152July 20, 2014

I originally thought this was a prickly pear, but now the thorns seem too big for it to be one. I was hoping someone could help me identify it.
This is a transplanted section of a larger cactus, which had about five sections with a couple unopened flowers. The largest thorns are 3.5 cm. It was growing in very dry sandy soil. I also saw another of these plants growing in a wetter location, however it was discolored reds and yellows and looked unhealthy.

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thefof(NSW Aust)

My first comment is that this plant is VERY short of water. I don't know if you have heard that cacti need no water, but it is NOT true. They are plants and need watering during their growing season but only when the soil is dry. A good soaking and leave till dry, which in the summer could easily be every couple of days.
I think it is an Opuntia, going by the flower bud, which might even have been aborted. The main part of the plant is so shriveled up that I cannot tell if it is cylindrical or a flat pad.
Yes the Prickly pears are among the Opuntia family.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:01AM
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Not sure if it is Opuntia as the leaves are so shriveled up. Opuntia are extremely diverse in appearance and habitats.

These Opuntia in the pic below grow natively along the humid, East Coast from Ma. to Florida (with up to 60 plus inches of annual rainfall), and even surviving heavy winter snows. But, they love a well-trained soil and will die if the soil retains excessive moisture.

What are your watering practices like and describe the soil (assuming the rocks are just decorative).

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:31AM
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