Cactus

 

Picture Common Name/ Botanical Name Description Water Needs

Parry Agave

Agave parryi

Ht. 18 Spread 3-4'

Flower: Yellow on 15' spike

Leaf: Blue-green, 18 x 5 , spiny

Zone 5-10

Full sun

Drought tolerant . . .  to Medium. Best in full sun.

Wonderful accent plant for desert gardens. Spiny, fleshy leaves resemble a 2 ft. artichoke. Blooms yellow on a 15 ft tall spike

Water use: Low

Sotol

Dasylirion wheeleri

Ht. 3-6' Spread 5'

Flower: Elongated clusters, creamy white on stems 9-15' tall.

Leaf: Narrow, gray-green to 3' in rounded rosette. Margins with sharp thorns.

Full sun.

No water once established.

Ocotillo

Fouquieria splendens

Ht. 20'-30'  Spread: 5'-10'

Flower: red to burnt orange

Leave: pail to dark green depending on water availability

Individual ocotillo stems are sometimes used as poles as a fencing material in their native region, and often take root to form a living fence.

Water use: Very low but water helps produce blooms

Prickly Pear

Opuntia erinaceae 

Ht. 6-10 Spread 12-24 spreading form.

Flower: White to yellow or red. 2-21/2 across.

Spines: 11/2-3 long, 3/8 apart. Pads oval to round, 3-4 across.

 Cold Hardy

Full sun, heat.

Prefers sandy, fast-draining soil.

Little to no water. 

Cholla

Opuntia imbricata

Ht. 6-12 ft. Spread 5-10 ft. Shrub to tree form with woody trunks & branches.

Flower: Varies from yellow to greenish to reddish brown. 1-3 in. across.

Cylindrical stems are spiny.

Zone 'COLD HARDY' Native to SW USA and northern Mexico.

Full sun.

Little to no water once established.

Cow's Tongue

Opuntia linguiformis

Ht. 6-12' Spread 4-8' Erect, tree-like.

Flower: Yellow to red. Fruit: Purple, 11/2-21/2 long.

Spines: Pale yellow, white, or brown. To 11/2 long. Pads up to 3-4' long.

 Frost tolerant to 10°F *

Full sun.

This large shrub or tree-form cactus forms clumps to 12 ft. tall. Its elongated pads are 3-4 ft long and only 6-10 inches wide. Flowers are yellow to red followed by purple fruit.

Little to no water

Golden Prickly Pear

Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata

Ht. 2-4' Spread 4-8'

Flowers: Yellow, to 3 across.

Spines: Golden yellow, 2-4 long. Pads 6 across.

Full sun.

Best in full sun.

Golden Prickly Pear is a great addition to a Southwestern landscape. In spring you'll be treated to a show of 3 yellow flowers

Little to no water

Datil Yucca

Yucca baccata

Ht: 3-4' Spread: 3-4'

Flower: Ivory-white, large 2-6 , blooms spring-summer, 2' long clusters

Leaf: bluish green/yellowish green, 2' long, 2 wide, fibers along the edges

Fall color: Evergreen

Full sun

Occasional deep waterings

Pendula Yucca

Yucca recurvifolia 

'Pendula'

Ht. 6-10' Spread 6-8'

Flower: white, about 3 , blooms in late spring or early summer are borne in loose open 3-5 ft tall clusters

Leaf: Blue-gray, 2-3' long, 2 wide, sharply bent downward, bend to touch.

Full sun. Easy to grow under all garden conditions.

A great addition to a Southwest garden. Sword blade-shaped leaves bend downward. Creamy white flowers are borne in large clusters on 5 ft. stalks

Moderate to regular water

Beaked Yucca

Yucca rostrata

Ht. 4-10 ft. Branching trunks with age.

Flower: White, 2 ft. clusters, late spring to summer. Fruit resembles bird beak.

Leaf: Narrow, powder-blue, radiate out from central stalk head. Sharp-tipped.

 Hardy to 10°F.

Full sun to light shade.

 Good drainage.

Little to moderate water

Spanish Dagger

Yucca torreyi

Ht. To 18 ft. Clumping columnar rosettes.

Flower: White, in large clusters. Fruit: 4-5 in. long.

Leaf: Green, long, sword-like, cupped along length, curling fibers at margins.

 Hardy to 10°F.

Full sun to light shade.

Drought tolerant, best with monthly watering in summer.

Hedgehog cactus

Echinocereus engelmannii

Ht. 12 in. Spread 3 ft

Flower: pink, purple and yellow. The flowers open after the spring rains from February to May.

Hardy to 10°F

Low-growing succulent native to the southwestern United States. This cactus earned its name because its short, spiny stems resemble hedgehogs.

Full sun

Little to no water

 Barrel Cactus

Ferocactus

 5 ft H x 2 ft W

Hardy to 10 degrees F

 

 full sun
Flower: yellow to orange-yellow flowering in summer

 

Ripe fruit, seeds and nectar relished by desert animals 

Little to no water

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