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Products > Opuntia gomei 'Old Mexico'
 
Opuntia gomei 'Old Mexico' - Old Mexico Pricklypear
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Cactaceae (Cactus)
Origin: North America
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [O. undulata, Hort. O. lindheimeri cv.]
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Opuntia gomei 'Old Mexico' (Old Mexico Pricklypear) - An interesting spineless selected form of Opuntia gomei that grows to be a sprawling large shrub to 5 feet tall by 8 feet wide with large thin light green pad that are irregularly undulated and scalloped along the leaf margins. Large colorful yellow flowers appear in late spring to summer. Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate sparingly. It is hardy to around 10 F, so useful in gardens in USDA Zone 8 and above. An interesting and attractive plant in the ground or in large containers. Opuntia gomei and this variety have both sometimes been sold as Opuntia undulata, a similar but tropical and tender species that also has pads with undulate margins. Opuntia gomei comes sea level to around 300 feet in elevation from along the Gulf coast from Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico into southern Texas and up the Rio Grand for about 60 miles. 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 honors William Gome of Brownsville Texas, who assisted botanist David Griffiths in collecting plants such as this one, which he described in 1910 in his "Illustrated Studies in the Genus Opunita III", published in the Missouri Botanical Garden Annual Report. Griffiths was known to be a splitter and others have and lumped this plant as a variety of Opuntia lindheimeri. The cultivar name reportedly was given to this plant by Helen Winans (sometimes incorrectly spelled Wynans), an active Cactus and Succulent Society of America member and cactus dealer from Brownsville Texas in the 1970's and 80's. We first saw this plant growing in gardens in Austin Texas and thank Santa Barbara Cactus and Succulent Society member Rob Hoffman for giving us the first starts of it in 2015.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Opuntia gomei 'Old Mexico'.
 
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