Click for previous Image Image 1 of 4 Opuntia fragilis Ball Cactus

Opuntia fragilis 'Little Grey Mound'

Ball Cactus

Plant Type:


Opuntia fragilis ‘Little Grey Mound’ (John Spain) – Small enough for a trough this beautiful John Spain selection has blue-purple pads in winter with little yellow flowers in late June/early July over spines in a cinnamon shade. This would make a lovely accent plant in a container, a trough or would look great adjacent to a Sempervivum arachnoides cultivar, the more silver-white webbing the better in contrast to ‘Little Grey Mound’! Our cacti are potted in our 3.5-inch square size. Cutting grown.


3 in


12 in




3 to 7(8?)
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Opuntia fragilis 'Little Grey Mound'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Early Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Autumn Interest

  • Autumn Leaf Color

Nature Attraction

  • Honey Bees & Native Bees
  • Deer Resistant


  • Full Sun


  • Rock Garden
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Trough
  • Evergreen
  • Greenhouse / Alpine House
  • Small / Miniature
  • Specimen
  • Potted Plant

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Slow


  • Impoverished
  • Scrabbled
  • Sandy
  • Draining
  • Calcareous


  • Garden Origin

Propagated By

  • Division
  • 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!