Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Opuntia humifusa Eastern Prickly Pear

Opuntia humifusa ''yellow, red-centered''

Eastern Prickly Pear

Plant Type:


Opuntia humifusa "yellow / red" - An especially good selection of the bi-colored Eastern Prickly Pear as evidenced by the photos. Bluish beaver tail pads support the striking flowers which occur June / July. There is a red and yellow selection out there called 'Barr's Dwarf' but this is not dwarf in that pads can measure 6 inches long and a happy plant can maintain a height of 8 to 10 inches, possibly more. Opuntia humifusa also is the unfortunate recipient of a slew of botanical Latin synonyms which include Opuntia calcicola, Opuntia compressa, Opuntia compressa var. allairei, Opuntia compressa var. fuscoatra, Opuntia compressa var. microsperma, Opuntia cumulicola, Opuntia humifusa var. humifusa, Opuntia rafinesquei... Oi. Plant Devil's Tongue, another common name, in full sun interred in average scrabbled to impoverished sandy ground. If you plant a fresh cut pad plant one edge in the ground and avoid placing the wounded point in the soil. But if healed then you can plant the scarred point in the ground without fear of rot. Good drainage is wise. Some insist it is hardy to USDA zone 2... perhaps - I mean we don't know as we live in USDA 5b, but it seems a stretch. Most supply a range of 4 to 9. A broad range, Opuntia humifusa is found in Massachusetts to Minnesota, south to Oklahoma, east to Florida. It is also found in Ontario, Canada. Established pot or cut pads... the SKU line below will tell which.


6-10 in


12-18 in


Red, Yellow


(3?)4 to 9
What is my hardiness zone?
Item Description Price  
OPUHUMY Opuntia humifusa "yellow / red" (3.5 inch Square Press Fit Pot – 1.05 pints / 497 ml.) $12.00 Buy Now

Characteristics and Attributes for Opuntia humifusa ''yellow, red-centered''

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads

Nature Attraction

  • Honey Bees & Native Bees
  • Butterflies


  • Full Sun


  • Rock Garden
  • Border
  • Fruiting
  • Accent
  • Natural Garden
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Evergreen
  • Salt Tolerant

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Slow


  • Calcareous
  • Impoverished
  • Scrabbled
  • Average
  • Sandy


  • Central North America
  • Eastern North America
  • Ontario

Propagated By

  • Offset

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!