Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti)
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  #1  
Old 08-08-2018, 05:40 PM
MojoShoujo MojoShoujo is offline
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Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti)
Default Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti)

I bought one a little over a year ago, falsely believing that they were a fuzzy, non-sharp cactus. As soon as I tried to repot it and dozens of glochids stuck in my hand I learned how wrong I was. I had already named it though (two redundant characters from a superhero anime, because there were two of the same thing in the pot) and was determined not to kill it or give it away.
It decided it had a grudge though, because it took pains to be as irritating as possible. Every time I even shifted the pot I got a finger, wrist or arm full of minuscule spines. When I moved apartments last week, every time I grabbed the tote of plants it was somehow there.
Yesterday when I chased the cat off my plant shelf it knocked off a big paddle. The cat, with her thick fur, was unbothered. I'm always loath to pass up an opportunity to propagate but I wasn't having another one in my house, so I asked my friends if they wanted one. Even with ample warnings one accepted. I ruined a pair of gloves getting it into the pot.
At least I hope she enjoys hers more than I do mine. It's doing beautifully, perhaps out of spite.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:50 PM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti)
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I like plants that can defend themselves!
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:54 PM
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Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti) Female
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I used to grow and sell them. I shuddered when children came into the nursery. I can't tell you how many little spines I've tweezed and taped out of my hands. We label them "silent but deadly."

Last edited by Dollythehun; 08-09-2018 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:58 PM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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The Opuntia with the wicked long spines are actually easier to handle than the ones covered with glochids, in my opinion of course. Kitchen tongs can be quite helpful, but I still keep the gloves on.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:29 AM
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Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
I used to grow and sell them. I shuddered when children came into the nursery. I can't tell you how many little spines I've tweezed and taped out of my hands. We label them "silent but deadly."
As a child, I collected cacti. People gave me starts and I collected them on vacations, etc. I finally had a large collection which I treasured. Then I had children. I put them behind my other plants and used a gate but, twice, one of my children somehow got into them. After the second time of pulling cacti spines out of her while she screamed, feeling quite awful, the cacti all went outside...in the middle of winter. That was the end of my cacti. Oddly enough, years later, that same child bought me a little cacti in a key chain. So, for the past ten years, I have had that one cacti. This spring, though, I bought a packet of seeds....
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:12 PM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti)
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All of the children and dogs I've had in Arizona have somehow remembered to keep out of the cactus after that first encounter. Except, of course, for Eric. I was living in the low desert, on the outskirts of town. Eric was a little (25 lb) mixed breed dog who loved to sneak out of the yard and go hunt packrats in the desert. In that area, the packrat nests are armored with cholla cactus segments, but Eric didn't care. All he ever wanted was to get to that rat, and he'd dive right in to the pile. I'd come home from work to find him happy, exhausted, and covered in spines. I'd just sit down and pull them out one by one, a painful process for both of us, but that never seemed to stop him. He also came home with a rattlesnake bite once. He somehow survived that, and was always very smart about snakes forever after. He never did get over his packrat habit though.
Here's a link, if you scroll down you can see a picture of how the rats build in the desert:
Packrat - Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:28 AM
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Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti) Female
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The pleasure was worth the pain apparently. Much like humans...
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Old Yesterday, 08:27 PM
MojoShoujo MojoShoujo is offline
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Boy, do I hate opuntia microdasys (bunny ear cacti)
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I still love the little devil anyway. It's one of my best growers, probably almost doubled in size in the little over a year since I got it.
I have other cacti that have better manners despite much larger spines, some mammillaria (backebergiana and crested rhodantha) and a cephalocereus. When they stick me I deserve it, it takes a good bit of force to jam into those needles. I respect them and they respect me. They would prefer to keep their needles and I would like to keep them out of my hands.
If they are bees, microdasys is like a wasp. More territorial, stings more often and repeatedly. Definitely the problem child of my collection.
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Old Yesterday, 10:58 PM
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stonedragonfarms stonedragonfarms is offline
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Growing up, there were 2 rules in our house regarding children and houseplants and children and the house cats...in both instances, the children were warned in advance that any cactus bites, bromeliad scrapes or altercations with the cats would be considered warranted...looking back on it, I'm guessing there's at least 25% Addams Family in our bloodline...
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