Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 30, 2012

From: Lago Vista, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Spineless prickly pear from Lago Vista TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We visited Lady Bird Johnson Center yesterday. I was impressed with the spine less prickly pear cactus. Is it a native or a hybrid?

ANSWER:

Please follow this line   Opuntia ellisiana (Spineless prickly pear) to our webpage on this plant. Especially notice this warning:

"Beware, although it doesn't have long sharp spines, the tiny glochids (slivers) are very irritating to the skin if the plant is not handled correctly. Grab the pads between the glochid dots."

We once heard a story that this "cultivated" plant just showed up in a Corpus Christi nursery. It can be propagated, unlike most hybrids. See the Propagation Instruction on the webpage.

 

From the Image Gallery


Spineless prickly pear
Opuntia ellisiana

Spineless prickly pear
Opuntia ellisiana

Spineless prickly pear
Opuntia ellisiana

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

How to remove plume from Yucca elephantipes in NJ?
August 02, 2011 - In Manahawkin, NJ, how do we cut plume (2" diameter) off 10' Yucca elephantipes?
view the full question and answer

Twist-leaf Yucca flowering in Burnet County, TX.
June 16, 2015 - I recently moved to Burnet County and our property is full of twist leaf yuccas which are now blooming, but not all are blooming. Why do some twist leaf yuccas bloom and others don't? Are they m...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for full sun and low maintenance
May 13, 2006 - I have volunteered to plant flowers/bushes around a sign at my church. I want to plant indigenous plants so the maintenance is low but I also want attractive plants. The soil is clay and the locatio...
view the full question and answer

Cochineal bugs on cactus
November 18, 2008 - Mr. Smarty plants. I have purple prickly pear cactus that are developing small white flake like spots, mostly where the thorns would be. Why is this happening and how can I cure it?
view the full question and answer

Debugging and Preserving Dried Cholla Cactus
January 04, 2014 - Hi. Recently found an intact skeleton of a cholla cactus. I want to Bring it in our house. Are there any dangers associated with this, like bugs inside the "branches?" how would you suggest I prese...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.