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Products > Opuntia robusta
Opuntia robusta - Dinner Plate Nopal
Image of Opuntia robusta
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Cactaceae (Cactus)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [O. gorda]
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 8-10 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Opuntia robusta (Dinner Plate Nopal) - A large cactus to 6 to 7 feet tall and as wide with 1 foot or more round flat silvery-gray stem segments (pads) that are jointed together often at nearly perpendicular angles. The pads have scattered pale spines which though, not plentiful or covering the surface of the leaves, are 1 to 2 inches long, so fairly wicked. Large yellow flowers appear in later spring and in summer are followed by large deep red fruit. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and water infrequently to not at all. Hardy to around 5 degrees F. This plant is widespread in central and Northern Mexico to within 100 miles of the Arizona and New Mexico borders where it grow from 5,000 to 10,000 feet rocky slopes, open shrublands, woodlands and mixed with other cactus and succulents. The origin of the genus name is debatable. One story is that it derives from the Latin word 'Opuntius' as a reference to it being native to the ancient Greek city of Opus but more likely it is from the Greek word 'opus' which means "fig juice" for the fig-like fruits. It may also be a composition word from the Aztec name of "nopalli" combined with the Latin word 'pungere' which means to" prick" or "sting". The specific epithet means strong and the plant is commonly called Robust Pricklypear , Wheel Cactus and Nopal Tapon. We received this plant from our long time nursery friend, the late Jim Prine. 

This information about Opuntia robusta displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.