Where does succulent come from?
Native to south-eastern USA (i.e. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas), Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and parts of northern South America (i.e. Ecuador).The native locations of O. dillenii are mostly at an altitude near sea level in sand dunes, at edges of maritime forests, or associated with tropical plants.
What succulent looks like?
Opuntia dillenii is a low, spreading bush growing in broad clumps and often forming dense thickets, or tall and much branched, 2 to 3 meters high, sometimes with distinct terete trunks.Its showy yellow flowers (6-8 cm across) are borne along the margins of the stem segments.The immature fruit are green, but they turn reddish-purple in colour as they mature.
How to grow succulent?
Outside full sun or afternoon shade (but adapt to shade too), inside needs bright light, and some direct sun.Preferable not to water on overcast days, humid days or cold winter days.
It is not a frost resistant cactus, hardy to -2° C or less if very dry. However in cultivation it is better not to expose it to temperatures lower than -5° C, even if in an aerated and protected location, in order to avoid the formation of anti-aesthetic spots on the epidermis. In presence of high atmospheric humidity avoid any frost as it is particularly sensitive to root rot. It can handle extremely high temperatures in summer.
How to take care succulent?
Some clones are armed with treacherous spines that are extremely sharp. Handle it with extreme caution, and keep it away from gangways and areas frequented by children and animals. Spines must be meticulously removed with tweezers.