Opuntia quimilo

Tree Opuntia! This is a tree forming species of Opuntia that is native to Northwest Argentina. As a young plant (generally below 4 to 5' in height) the plant exhibits wicked, 4" to 5" long, black, needle like spines that are a visual and physical warning saying STAY AWAY, don't touch me or I'll poke you in the nose! However once the plant reaches some height (usually above 5' or the tongue reach of most grazing animals) the large thick pads tend to loose most the imposing spines and they become for the most part spineless in appearance but still possess glochids, which still makes handling them in-advisable. The form of the plant in youth is generally multi stemmed and shrubby but as the plant gets older and achieves some height it takes on an upright tree-form, usually establishing a singe trunk and loosing most of the lower pads. The flowers produced in the summer are orange and followed by fist sized greenish to tan colored fruits. Give this plant space it can reach heights of 20' or more and can get 8' to 10' around. These are seedlings in 2" pots and are approximatly 3" to 4" in height.
Northwestern Argentina
9a to 10
20' x 10'

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