This beautiful Prickly Pear cactus flower opened yesterday with such a rich lemon yellow. The plant has several more unopened buds, so we're in for a visual treat over the coming days.
There are several types of Opuntia, some of which are indigenous to the Great Basin Desert. Beavertail (Opuntia basilaris), the Porcupine Prickly Pear (Opuntia erinacea), the Smooth Prickly Pear (Opuntia humifusa), the Plains Prickly Pear (Opuntia polycantha), and the Brown-Spinded Prickly Pear (Opuntia phaeacantha) are such wonders to be found in the Great Basin. In the wild, different species have adapted to different elevations of the Basin and Range.
Opuntia is easy to grow in the ground, rock gardens and in containers. Give them full sun with well draining, course soil that dries out between watering. An advantage to growing them in containers is that they can be moved about. This is especially advantageous when the blooming season arrives, as they can become a temporary center of attention.