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 Mr. Opuntia

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Calm and Collected

Number of posts : 229
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2009-11-08

PostSubject: Mr. Opuntia   Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:38 am

Since only recently discovering these are not all prickly pears I was wondering what my old guy might be. He's forever having his head lopped off, the spine corks, the leaves rot, we've cut many leaves off him and I think there are about six 1-metre high plants about but this is the only one in full sun at the moment that flowers

I'd like to plant this one out if it's not one that will take over the garden because the flowers are lovely. I tried the online guide but there is barely any opuntia pics, I'll try not to beg for id help for at least a few days after this, I think I've taken over the whole first page
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avid contributor & moderator

Number of posts : 862
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2008-05-07

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Opuntia   Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:57 am

Hi Olga,
I think your Mr. Opuntia is what is usually called Opuntia vulgaris locally.
Looking into it this plant's valid name actually appears to be O. monacantha, with the name O.vulgaris actually being a synonym of Opuntia ficus-indica.
Still, people seem to be inclined to use the familiar, if incorrect name of O.vulgaris, probably because they don't know it's incorrect lol.
It will definitely grow outside here, in fact it's practically unkillable.
Indeed I've seen this plant naturalise to some extent in outer suburban areas and especially along Mel trainlines. See it from time to time in gardens, both cacti-orientated and general. It also makes regular appearances at weekend markets.
It does not get anywhere near as large as O.ficus-indica.
You have the normal form, this one also comes in a variegated and monstrose form.
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Calm and Collected

Number of posts : 229
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2009-11-08

PostSubject: Re: Mr. Opuntia   Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:44 pm

Thanks Lewis Yes he definitely seems unkillable
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