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Opuntia fragilis 'Claude Arno'

Ball Cactus

Plant Type:


Opuntia fragilis 'Claude Arno' (ex: John Spain) – an exquisite ball cactus with very showy, larger flowers than most O. fragilis. Flowers open from red-pink buds, a shade deeper and darker than found in most ball cacti. The lovely light yellow flowers touched with peach-pink adorn this selection profusely in June here in northeastern Connecticut. Flowers become infused with more pastel peach color on their second day in the sun. Medium green pads are beautifully decorated with silvery white glochids. Our cacti are potted in our 3.5-inch square size. Cutting grown.


4 in


12 in


Pale Yellow, Peach Pink


(4)5 to 9
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Opuntia fragilis 'Claude Arno'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Early Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Interesting Bark

  • Architectonic
  • Handsome
  • Architectural
  • Barbed

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads

Nature Attraction

  • Songbirds


  • Full Sun


  • Border
  • Collector Plant
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Edging
  • Rock Garden
  • Evergreen
  • Potted Plant
  • Bank

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Slow


  • Scrabbled
  • Average
  • Sandy
  • Draining
  • Calcareous
  • Impoverished


  • Nebraska

Propagated By

  • Cutting
  • Bare Root

Genus Overview: Cacti

Common Name: Cactus

All cacti are architectonic naturals settled into a stone and gravel garden. Hardy cacti require full sun in very well-drained conditions – this is especially true when planted in the damp, humid eastern U.S. John Spain, guru to cacti growers in New England and beyond, has amended his growing mix to 90% sand and crushed stone to 10% good compost. Raised beds or planting on a south-facing slope are very helpful; low lying areas that hold onto moisture between rains are an anathema to cacti culture. In that there are fungi that can ravage colonies we are offering cultivars that have been completely or relatively disease-free in northeastern Connecticut. Beware the glochids!!! Those are the nexi where the spines emerge. Handle all with care for even those that are spineless can inflict little fiber optic-like hairs which when stuck in the skin may drive you crazy for as long as a week! When cleaning up or propagating I arm myself with my handy Felco pruners in one hand and pliers in the other – for all you classic 50s sci-fi buffs, a modern day Robby the Robot!