I bought this cactus yesterday. I want to know its name to research how I should take care of it. I'm in a rather cold city (Zanjan in northwestern Iran) with long winters, so I think it's better if I keep it inside. Any advice is much appreciated.

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Looking through the pictures in Cactiguide.com, I think this is a Consolea. I could be wrong though since I know almost nothing about plants.

  • 1
    Check out Opuntia microdasys... more likely to be that, but look at images online
    – Bamboo
    Mar 12, 2015 at 15:28
  • @Bamboo: Thanks! There are a lot of similarities to the images in cactiguide.
    – mASOUD
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:03
  • 2
    As mentioned in another answer, this is definitely an opuntia. Do not touch the spines. A single one embedded in your skin is so tiny that even with tweezers it's difficult to remove, but after a period of hours is the itchiest thing imaginable. I gave up on these things after so many times scratching my skin raw trying to remove stray spines.
    – Tom W
    Mar 14, 2015 at 22:48
  • @TomW Yes I did a little reading about the spines, and somewhere it was said that if left in the skin they can cause discomfort for up to 9 months. The spines are barbed so even if you manage to take it out it will likely leave very small scraps inside. It is recommended to handle them with wet hands or better with gloves. See glochid.
    – mASOUD
    Mar 15, 2015 at 8:19

2 Answers 2


It's Opuntia microdasys, one of a group of tropical plants commonly referred to as Prickly Pear, though they rarely fruit if grown indoors. This particular one also has the common name 'Bunny Ears', well in the UK anyway.

General care instructions, if you haven't found them already, average warmth from spring to autumn, but keep cool in winter; 50-55 Deg F is ideal, but a temperature as low as 40 deg F occasionally will do no harm. Plenty of fresh air in summer or when temperatures are high enough, so near an open window if you're keeping it inside. Needs the sunniest spot available most of the year, but may need shading from very hot sun in summer. Water thoroughly when the surface of the compost is dry to the touch, but don't leave it standing in water in any outer tray or pot. In late summer, reduce watering a bit and after mid autumn, keep almost dry - just enough water to prevent shrivelling. Start watering normally again as spring arrives. These instructions apply to most desert type cacti, of which this plant is one.

  • Opuntia microdysis has very loose glochids. If you put it in a window and air is moving in you will have a cloud of airborne glochids, not good. If you have some in your yard and use a leaf blower carelessly, you're gonna have a bad time. Spritz them with a little water before working on or near them, and as you mentioned, wear gloves!
    – Tim Nevins
    Feb 10, 2020 at 21:35

Looks like a prickly pear to me.

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