Opuntia engelmannii var. sandia
Opuntia engelmannii var. sandia is a formally undescribed variety of Opuntia engelmannii from the Sandia Mountains to the northeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico where they grow at high elevations from 5,500 to 7,200 ft above sea level. Average temperatures at these altitudes are around -8C to -10C during the winter months but can get much lower. This is a tough, very hardy Opuntia. It is a low sprawling form, with cladodes typically smaller than forms found at lower elevations and the cladodes are fuller, more rounded and less flattened.
These are clones of plants originally collected by the late Horst Kuenzler who lived just south of Albuquerque in Belen, New Mexico. Their collection number is HK 1809. It may be more taxonomically correct to list these as Opuntia engelmannii (Sandia Mountains, NM) but we are preserving the details by which these geographical variants came to us.
|Synonyms||Opuntia alta, Opuntia cacanapa, Opuntia chisosensis, Opuntia dillei, Opuntia engelmannii var. alta, Opuntia engelmannii var. cacanapa, Opuntia engelmannii subsp. engelmannii, Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii, Opuntia engelmannii var. subarmata, Opuntia engelmannii var. texana, Opuntia lindheimeri var. chisosensis, Opuntia lindheimeri var. subarmata, Opuntia lindheimeri var. tricolor, Opuntia subarmata, Opuntia texana, Opuntia tricolor|
|Geographical Origin||USA: New Mexico|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Well-drained gritty, gravelly alkaline substrate. Add limestone to the substrate. Keep as dry as possible in winter|
|Hardiness||Hardy in the UK if kept completely dry in winter. A very free-draining substrate is essential. A sloping gradient is ideal|
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