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Purple Prickly Pear Cactus.
Opuntia violacea var. santa-rita.

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Purple Prickly Pear Cactus. Also called: Opuntia macrocentra var. macrocentra, Opuntia violacea var. castetteri, Opuntia violacea var. macrocentra, Santa Rita Pricklypear, Blue Blade, Dollar Cactus, Black Spine Prickly Pear, Red Joint Prickly Pear, Texas Santa Rita.
Purple Prickly Pear, Opuntia violacea var. santa-rita.
Photo Taken At Peoria. April 21, 2005. Xeriscape Landscaping.
Purple Prickly Pear Cactus. Also called: Opuntia macrocentra var. macrocentra, Opuntia violacea var. castetteri, Opuntia violacea var. macrocentra, Santa Rita Pricklypear, Blue Blade, Dollar Cactus, Black Spine Prickly Pear, Red Joint Prickly Pear, Texas Santa Rita.Purple Prickly Pear Cactus. Also called: Opuntia macrocentra var. macrocentra, Opuntia violacea var. castetteri, Opuntia violacea var. macrocentra, Santa Rita Pricklypear, Blue Blade, Dollar Cactus, Black Spine Prickly Pear, Red Joint Prickly Pear, Texas Santa Rita.
Purple Prickly Pear Cactus.Opuntia violacea var. santa-rita.

Purple Prickly Pear Cactus.
Opuntia violacea var. santa-rita, Cactus Family ( Cactaceae ), Purple Prickly Pear. Also called: Opuntia macrocentra var. macrocentra, Opuntia violacea var. castetteri, Opuntia violacea var. macrocentra, Santa Rita Pricklypear, Blue Blade, Dollar Cactus, Black Spine Prickly Pear, Red Joint Prickly Pear, Texas Santa Rita.

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Santa Rita Prickly Pear is native to Texas, Arizona and Northern Mexico. It grows to about 3 - 5 feet in height and spread. It's round pads have a bluish tint and in winter or times of drought turn red or purple. The flowers are yellow.

Santa Rita Prickly Pear is a good xeriscape landscape plant.

SPECIAL NOTE:
You may recall that in January of 2012, Starbucks decided to move away from artificial ingredients. So to give its strawberry Frappuccinos and some of its other foods and beverages their pinkish-red hue, it turned to the use of the Cochineal Beetle.

You may recall that decision infuriated the vegans, and many others who learned that pinkish color came from crushed bugs.

As weird as it may sound, cochineal extract -- is a food dye made from the dried bodies of the cochineal beetle, which is indigenous to Arizona, Mexico and South America.

In fact, it's also widely used in yogurts, fruit-flavored drinks, candies, and some varieties of Kellogg's Pop-Tarts.

Then, following the public outcry -- some 6,500 people signed an anti-beetle petition against Starbucks.

Then, Starbucks announced in April of 2012, that the bugs will be removed from their menu by June, and replaced with a tomato-based extract called lycopene.

Well, guess where the Cochineal Beetle likes to make its home?

You guessed it! On the pods of the Opuntia violacea var. santa-rita; or Purple Prickly Pear Cactus!

Now, if you are growing this cactus for its beauty, then the Cochineal Beetle can be a real serious problem. Here's how to get rid of the Cochineal Beetle!

For information about how to control the cactus beetle, at no obligation to buy, just click on Talstar Pro 3/4 Gal Multi Use Insecticide The Same Product Many Pest Control Pros Use! We use it to control all of the Cochineal Insects. It Works! Ever since we started using this generic (cheaper to buy) insecticide on our Santa Rita Cactus. No More Cochineal Insects At All! Our neighbors don't use Talstar and they all have Cochineal Insect problems on their Santa Rita Cactus.

Click Here To See Our Web Page Showing The Very Interesting - Cochineal Beetle - Which Lives On the Purple Prickly Pear Cactus. - Cochineal Insect (Beetle), Dactylopius confusus.


Quick Notes:

Height: Height & width 3 to about 5 feet.

Flowers: The yellow flowers are about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Flowering Time: April - May.

Fruit: Red-purple fruit, 1 to 1-1/2 inches long, 3/4 to 1 inches in diameter persisting into the winter. Seeds 3/16 inches in diameter, tan to grey, elliptic.

Pads: Blue - purple, or magenta cactus pads are 4 to 6 inches in diameter, about 5/8 inches thick. They are almost round and flat. They have 1 or 2 spines per areole and have glochids (little barbed bristles organized in clusters) which can penetrate the skin.

Found: Native to Texas, Arizona and Northern Mexico.

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Elevation: 0 - 5,500 Feet.

Habitat: Gravel or sandy flats, mesas, hillsides. A xeriscape landscape plant in some places.

Miscellaneous: Flowering Photos Taken At Peoria, Arizona. A xeriscape landscape plant. April 21, 2005.

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