In February, I brought home a couple of white-spined bunny ear cacti (Opuntia microdasys 'Albata') from a trip to Southern California. They were in very small 2-inch containers which they had severely outgrown. I repotted them and then put them in planters on top of the low fence around our front yard.
|Bunny ears in 2" pot on 2/27/11|
|In our fence-top planter box on 4/13/11|
In early May they started to put out flower buds, but due to unseasonably cool weather it took them a month to open up.
|Flower buds on 6/12/11|
Unlike our beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris) whose blooms are purple, these white-spined bunny ears have light lemon yellow flowers that I find stunning.
|Left flower bud open on 6/14/11|
|View of the flower from the top|
When looking at the photos, remember that these are small plants (7 inches tall) and the flowers are only 1½ inches across. Actually, their intimate size makes them even more beautiful to me.
A word of warning: As soft and cuddly as this little plant looks, the small white spines (glochids) are nasty. They come off at the slightest touch and stick to everything, including your skin and (rumor has it) your eyeballs. Handle with extreme care.