Opuntia debreczyi

Szutorisz, Succulentes 4: 17, 2005



Opuntia debreczyi may have O. fragilis and O. polyacantha in its ancestry. However, we accept it as a stable, self-reproducing species. It is a variable taxon but usually grows 2- to 4-inches tall. Cladodes are often egg-shaped and oval (or round) in cross section. Unlike O. fragilis, the cladodes do not separate easily. It grows in southwestern WY and across western CO to eastern UT. It barely reaches into northeastern AZ and northwestern NM, but is not common in these latter states. Read the original description.

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Dave Ferguson writes:

O. debreczyi tends to grow on open sloping ground in upland areas above the lower deserts; it is often found with O. trichophora and O. polyacantha. It may occur with O. fragilis, O. zuniensis, Pediocactus simpsonii, Sclerocactus parviflorus, and Escobaria vivipara. It may also occur in pure stands with no other species of cactus nearby.

The plants may be nearly spineless or may be spiny. Cladodes vary in shape and size but are generally larger than those of O. fragilis (often much larger); flattened joints are common. Flowers may be anything from yellow to magenta, with light yellow, pink, or red centers. Some populations may be of mixed colors, but other populations are single colored.

Various popular names are applied to garden forms of this species including O. rutila, Super Rutila, and O. polyacantha var rutila.

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