Opuntia azurea Rose

Garden: Balchik
Season: Summer

Opuntia azurea Rose   is native to Mexico and Texas the range there is from deserts to mountain grasslands from 600 to 1900 meters above sea level. Common names are Coyotillo and Blue Prickly Pear, the specific epithet is after the Latin adjective, azureus, "pure deep blue," in reference to the stem colours of this species. 
Opuntia azurea is a long-spined, compact, upright, prickly-pear, species with a single trunk and shiny, pale blue-green arms (usually 1-2 m tall), or branching from the base and more or less spreading. Opuntia azurea was described as a Mexican species and is characterized by seasonally variable joints, uniformly blue-green or purple at the areoles, that may become uniformly purple in drought or winter. The young spines are usually golden, or reddish, but almost black with age and are borne on the upper part of the cactus. The flowers are beautiful, 3 cm long, rich golden-yellow with a vivid crimson claw; aged flowers turn a pinkish-brown throughout. It produce juicy, edible red/purple fruits.
This is a a much decorative frost hardy cactus easily found in cultivation. It is a summer grower species that offers no cultivation difficulties. Its purple pads provide a striking accent for an otherwise dormant cactus garden. It is a quite frost resistant cactus, hardy to -7° C. Outside full sun or afternoon shade, inside needs bright light, and some direct sun.