Opuntia microdasys var. rufida
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 8b
Other Names: Cinnamon Bunny Ears, Blind Prickly Pear
A spreading succulent cactus with showy yellow flowers that bloom in spring and fruit that ripens to red in summer; dense glochids are reddish brown; an excellent accent for rock gardens and planters; needs perfect drainage and sandy or gravelly soils
Cinnamon Cactus is a member of the cactus family, which are grown primarily for their characteristic shapes, their interesting features and textures, and their high tolerance for hot, dry growing environments. As an 'opuntiad' type of cactus, it doesn't actually have leaves, but rather modified succulent stems that comprise the bulk of the plant, and which are designed to retain water for long periods of time. This particular cactus is valued for its spreading habit of growth This plant has buttery yellow cup-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems in mid spring, which are interesting on close inspection. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries in mid summer.
Cinnamon Cactus is a succulent evergreen plant with a spreading habit of growth that trails along the ground. As a type of cactus, it has no true foliage; the body of the plant is wholly comprised of a linked series of spiny light green pads which are connected together to form the branches of the plant.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should never be pruned except to remove any dieback, as it tends not to take pruning well. Stray segments or shoots can be carefully removed or thinned to control the overall form and spread of the plant. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Cinnamon Cactus is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Cinnamon Cactus will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. Like most succulents and cacti, this plant prefers to grow in poor soils and should therefore never be fertilized. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.
Cinnamon Cactus is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.