Opuntia fragilis

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Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

James
I correspond occasionally with a DR. Eric Ribbons about Opuntia fragilis. He is an Associate Professor of Biology at Western Illinois University.
Dr Ribbons has been doing research and studies on Midwestern populations of O. fragilis many of which are, as you say are "shy to flower".
Dr. Ribbons web sight has some good information about the species.
http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfer1/research/Opuntia/opuntia.htm

He also authored an article about of the species for the Haseltonia publication in 2007
http://opuntiads.com/zpdf/opuntia-fragilis-haseltonia.pdf

You will find this article and several others Authored By Dr. Ribbons at this sight.
http://opuntiads.com/html/opuntia-fragilis.html

http://opuntiads.com/zpdf/opuntia-fragilis-iowa.pdf
http://opuntiads.com/zpdf/opuntia-fragilis-michigan.pdf
http://opuntiads.com/zpdf/opuntia-fragilis-illinois.pdf

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Reed
Reed's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-10-09

Thank you for the links.
I was only able to read the first one as of yet, however; I do find the information very interesting. I found the part about the Lichen possibly facilitating flowering by cooling the soil interesting. I feel that the added nitrogen being fixed from the Lichen plays an integral part as well and I agree it holds moisture in the soil.

Here is one of my favorite varieties of Opuntia fragilis var. denudata from Utah. 

Albany, Oregon USA. Pacific Northwest, elevation approximately 200ft zone 8. Winter wet and Summer Dry. Hot enough to ripen the peaches.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

John, those are excellent links for Opuntiaphiles (Opuntiads.com), what a fantastic reource, must admit to spending lots of time looking around the galleries and reading up on O. fragilis, I had no idea about its surprising northerly range.

James, what a cute rolly-polly thing Opuntia fragilis var. denudata is, I like it!

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

McDonough wrote:

James, what a cute rolly-polly thing Opuntia fragilis var. denudata is, I like it!

I was almost surprised, Mark, with your "no thorns" rule...but then I see that this one has no thorns!  (and indeed, cute)

There are, apparently, certain O. humifusa that are thornless, or nearly so.  I was hoping the Minnesota provenance ones would be such, but not so.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Even if they have no thorns they do have glochides (I presume)! I dislike glochides more than thorns.
Though I will look for seeds when I get the seed list.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Reed
Reed's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-10-09

Opuntia fragilis var. denudata doesn't have the same kind of glochides like many of the Opuntia do. They are more like reduced thorns not hairs (they are much easier to get out and you can see them easily) and it has a lot less of them unlike my other Opuntia that leave glochides in me all the time. I also dislike glochides. I think this year I will only have four seeds if I am lucky, I didn't hand pollinate them to make sure they where pollinated well.

Albany, Oregon USA. Pacific Northwest, elevation approximately 200ft zone 8. Winter wet and Summer Dry. Hot enough to ripen the peaches.

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Glochides are why I don't grow Opuntia spp.  I much rather have the big strong thorns that are easily removed from my person. 

Now this makes me think...  When I was perusing the O. fragilis in western Minnesota, I got some stuck to my boots a few times.  I removed them with my fingers, got stuck a few times, but only by the large thorns and never glochides.  Is it possible that that these don't have them?

Regarding pollination, I also find that to get a good crop of seed from my Coryphantha vivipara, I must hand pollinate.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Rick
Don't kid yourself they are present. You were just lucky you didn't get past the big spines. As far as pads sticking to your boots goes, sounds like they were just doing what they were designed to do. ;)

I find that cool spring weather requires me to take on the pollinating duties.  During warm spring weather I have plenty of helpers. :D

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

(NB. It' s glochid, not glochide, for those who may be wondering...)

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Skulski wrote:

(NB. It' s glochid, not glochide, for those who may be wondering...)

Thanks, Lori, i for one, did wonder.
I was not quite sure. It is glochide in German, French and Spanish. In Norw. it is (almost) not used in singular, only in plural (glokider/glokidene).
When I visited the Galapagos Islands i had more than one close encounter with the unearthly vegetation with glochids.

Today I have even purchased an Opuntia fragilis!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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