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Opuntia fragilis 'Jason Owens'


Opuntia fragilis 'Jason Owens' is a handsome form with muscular, dark green pads and few thorns.

Fragile prickly pear (Opuntia fragilis) is widespread across western North America and occurs in all Canadian provinces from Ontario west plus the western half of the US. It has small pads that can be cylindrical (usually in the BC interior) or larger and somewhat flattened (BC coastal forms). The pads can be upright or prostrate. In summer they produce bright yellow cactus flowers. This is the most northerly of all cactus species occurring only 8 degrees of latitude south of the Arctic Circle in Alberta. Plant in full sun in sharply draining soil. 'Jason Owens' is named in memory of a good friend who left us too soon. It was collected on a group kayaking trip with him near Desolation Sound, BC. This handsome form has muscular, dark green pads and few thorns just like Jason. O. fragilis is one of those few plants with a range that stretches from his native Alberta to his chosen home in coastal BC. It reminds us of the fragility of life and to enjoy each day to its fullest, in the garden, in a kayak, or where ever you are but especially with good friends and family. Coastal forms may not be quite as hardy as forms collected in cold climates.

Common Name: Brittle Prickly Pear

Family: Cactaceae (The Cactus Family)

Zone Hardiness: 3-9

Light: Full Sun

Height: 4-8"

Width: 8-12"

Primary Bloom Colour: Yellow

Secondary Bloom Colour: Orange

Class: Evergreen

Type: Perennial

Bloom Time: Summer

Soil Moisture: Dry, Drought Tolerant

Stem Colour:

Fragrance: No

Berries: No

Benefits: Bees

Deer Resistant: Yes

BC Native: Yes

Native Habitat: Dry prairies, sandhills and rocks.


Geogrpahical Origin: Americas - North America

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*The Plant Encyclopedia is updated each year to provide a representation of the plants we offer, have offered, and may offer again. However, it is not a live inventory of our stock. Not all plants will be available at all times or in every year. Use the link above to enquire about the availability of this plant. Additionally, we carry many plants that have not yet been entered into our database so please enquire if you don’t see what you’re looking for. Plants are available only for on-site sales at our nursery in Richmond, BC, Canada or for shipping within Canada. We do not ship internationally. However, if you are visiting the nursery from afar, we can arrange for the necessary permits and paperwork for you to take plants back with you to your country.