The purple prickly pear or Black spine Opuntia
Supplied as a rooted pad in a 7cm pot
Opuntia macrocentra is an upright spreading shrub, usually growing from 30–60 cm tall. Individuals occasionally reach 1 metre in height. The stem and pads are a glaucous blue-gray- green, becoming purplish in colour. The purple pad colour is the most intense at the edges of the pad or around the areoles. The purple is more evident as the plant is stressed by drought or cold. The spines on the top edges of the pad can become very long and are an ebony black.
Flowers, like many in the genus, are golden yellow with flushes of orange in the centre.
Easy to grow in loose free draining compost in a pot or in the ground but must have very dry soil conditions to survive winter frosts.
A most desirable cactus and rarely available here in the UK.
Well drained soil
RHS hardiness rating H3/H4
The plants on offer are similar to those seen in pictures 2 and 3. Picture one shows a mature specimen in flower as an example of what to expect and is not the plant for sale.