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Opuntia fragilis 'Bronze Beauty'

Ball Cactus

Plant Type:


Opuntia fragilis ‘Bronze Beauty’ (ex: John Spain) – is a beautiful selection that John Spain gifted to us. This ball type is a relatively quick increaser, spineless with very noticeable glochids. The flowers are relatively large and a light chiffon yellow. The older second day flowers turn an engaging peach color – striking against the dark green balls. When the weather cools the pads do change to bronze. Our cacti are potted in our 3.5-inch square size. Cutting grown.


5 in


15 in


Peach Pink, Soft Yellow


(3b)4 to7(8?)
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Opuntia fragilis 'Bronze Beauty'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Early Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Autumn Interest

  • Autumn Leaf Color

Nature Attraction

  • Honey Bees & Native Bees


  • Full Sun


  • Rock Garden
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Edging
  • Evergreen
  • Specimen
  • Potted Plant
  • Trough

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium


  • Impoverished
  • Scrabbled
  • Draining
  • Sandy
  • Calcareous


  • Garden Origin

Propagated By

  • Bare Root
  • Division

Genus Overview: Cacti

Common Name: Cactus

All cacti are architectonic naturals settled into a stone and gravel garden. Hardy cacti require full sun in very well-drained conditions – this is especially true when planted in the damp, humid eastern U.S. John Spain, guru to cacti growers in New England and beyond, has amended his growing mix to 90% sand and crushed stone to 10% good compost. Raised beds or planting on a south-facing slope are very helpful; low lying areas that hold onto moisture between rains are an anathema to cacti culture. In that there are fungi that can ravage colonies we are offering cultivars that have been completely or relatively disease-free in northeastern Connecticut. Beware the glochids!!! Those are the nexi where the spines emerge. Handle all with care for even those that are spineless can inflict little fiber optic-like hairs which when stuck in the skin may drive you crazy for as long as a week! When cleaning up or propagating I arm myself with my handy Felco pruners in one hand and pliers in the other – for all you classic 50s sci-fi buffs, a modern day Robby the Robot!