AZ Arboretums

Opuntia rufida (Opuntia herrfeldtii)

Blind pearCommon: Blind pear
Family: Opuntieae
Origin: Northern Mexico, and along the Rio Grande in Texas.
Light: Needs strong sun in summer and shelter in winter.
Soil: Drought tolerant, needs well-drained soils.
Temperature: Withstands cold and damp far less well than other members of Opuntia.

Suitable for flowerpot cultivation. Shrubby, erect, from 20 to 60 inches high, with a short trunk.

Pads are approximately circular, very wide and thick. Spines are lacking altogether, but broad, circular, raised areoles bear a great many reddish brown glochids that are darker on the older pads.

Pads' gray-green epidermis has velvety appearance. Flowers grow to a length of about two inches, including ovary. Varies from yellow to orange. Fruit is light red.

Many horticultural hybrids have been developed. Propagated by placing pads on almost dry sand. Glochids can be dislodged by wind or by the plant's being shaken and can cause blindness in cattle and other animals.