Opuntia Robusta | Wheel Cactus | Giant Opuntia



Opuntia Robusta | Wheel Cactus | Giant Opuntia

Opuntia robusta, the wheel cactus, nopal tapon, or camuesa, is a species of cactus in the family Cactaceae. It is native and endemic to central and northern Mexico and Southwestern USA where it grow from 5,000 to 10,000 feet (1,500 to 3,000 m) on rocky slopes, open shrub lands, woodlands and mixed with other cactus and succulents.

Plants are commonly around 1 m (40 in) high, though they may grow to over 3 m (10 ft) high when supported.

The flattened stem segments are fleshy, round and blue-grey in colour. These are up to 30 cm (1 ft) in diameter and have sharp spines up to 5 cm (2 in) in length. Yellow, sessile flowers with a fleshy base are produced on the edges of the upper stem segments. These are followed by barrel-shaped fleshy fruits which are pink or purple and up to 8 cm (3 in) long.