Opuntia fragilis

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Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

WOW what a great mound!! :o
Is this from a locally collected clone?

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Barstow
Barstow's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-08-27

I've just seen this very interesting thread. I managed to overwinter a small seed propagated plant of O. fragilis for two winters here at over 64N (min. temperature, without snowcover of about -23C) but it sadly didn't make it through last winter.

In Scandinavia, I've seen good collections of Opuntias in the rock garden at the Gøteborg (Gothenburg) botanics and they also grow several in the Tromsø botanical gardens (69.6N) where I've even seen an unknown species with flower buds.

Stephen Barstow
Malvik, Norway
63.4N
Age: Lower end of the 20-25,000 day range

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

Weiser wrote:

WOW what a great mound!! :o
Is this from a locally collected clone?

Thanks!
It came from a local nursery.  Last winter was the first winter I ever seen it burn.  We had very cold weather very early. >:(

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

Stephenb wrote:

I've just seen this very interesting thread. I managed to overwinter a small seed propagated plant of O. fragilis for two winters here at over 64N (min. temperature, without snowcover of about -23C) but it sadly didn't make it through last winter.

In Scandinavia, I've seen good collections of Opuntias in the rock garden at the Gøteborg (Gothenburg) botanics and they also grow several in the Tromsø botanical gardens (69.6N) where I've even seen an unknown species with flower buds.

Would love to see some pics. :)

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Of course any plant can be damaged in a given year, even in nature, so you can't say too much from one plant, but, O fragilis does occur in at least z2 areas in nature, so its not cold per se that can cause problems, and it is said to be even quite tolerant of winter wet.. drainage is really crucial of course, for winter (for really wet winters, I think both extra draining soil and a bit of a slope would be best) , but I think damage can occur also when cold temperatures come hard on the heels of warm weather, and plants have not hardened yet.. we've had a couple of falls like this --warm and wet weather followed by cold, and some little bits of Alberta fragilis I have have not been looking great..
Another factor for hardy cacti (less important I think for the northern Opuntias than Echinocereus etc, but still relevant, I suspect) more important for Stephen and I than for DesertZone, is summer heat--the plants need a good warm/hot growing season to really be in shape for winter.. i think a planting built to maximise heat during summer would be helpful (stones that hold heat, going below soil level as well, and some sort of partial wall/raised area around it to hold heat, or pots/plantings in semi-enclosed areas in courtyards, near walls etc)..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

cohan wrote:

but I think damage can occur also when cold temperatures come hard on the heels of warm weather, and plants have not hardened yet.. we've had a couple of falls like this --warm and wet weather followed by cold,

Bingo...this is what did so much of my plants in last year, not so much the cold winter but the warm and early cold of fall.  Half my flowers were in bloom and then two cold snaps near 0F :o

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

We had an especially bad bout of that year before last-- extra warm later than usual in late aug and through sept, then in early oct, snow and freezing for a week, down to -20C.. even native trees were thrown for a loop--they had not dropped leaves, and the leaves froze in place, stayed for weeks, all winter on some things... some very hardy perennials were affected, though most things recovered..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

I had flower that stayed all winter becuase of the freeze. :D

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

I wonder if we are headed for that sort of a fall/winter again-- after another cold wet day tomorrow (yesterday drizzle all day and a high of 8C), we are forecast a stretch of warm sunny weather (up to mid-20'sC which is just about as warm as it has been all summer)..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Gosh, I wish I would have seen these in bloom.  I have never even seen a O. fragilis with any buds or flowers in Minnesota before.  These are near Granite Falls, Minnesota.  They're not exactly the easiest to access...

       

             

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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