Jump to content
The Corroboree
gr33ntea

My Luther Burbanks Spineless Cactus (O. ficus-indica )

Recommended Posts

A year or so ago I got a Luther Burbanks Opuntia. Basically a botanist (among other things) by the name of Luther Burbank (March 7, 1849 – April 11, 1926) spent two decades selectively breeding Opuntia pads to be spineless, the goal was a spineless opuntia that could be grown in the desert for cattle feed. It was successful but the cactus needed constant watering and couldnt survive in the heat.

I was sold a Luther Burbanks opuntia and although it is spineless it still produces glochids. (All spineless or ‘Burbank’ opuntias bear tiny bristles (glochids) around areoles and on the fruit surface (Brutsch and Zimmerman, 1990).)

Below is image of Luther Burbanks opuntia, from this site http://mattslandscape.com/detail/?plant_name=Opuntia%20ficus%20indica%20var%20burbank%20spineless#full_desc
lob2ixOl.jpg

The only proper spineless opuntia i can think of is the thin Opuntia Nopales because it doesnt have as much glochids as burbanks.


My Opuntia below looks like it has some opuntia robusta dna in it as it has an awesome blue tinge and is thick.
below opuntia sold to me as luther burbank spineless

post-12761-0-32285500-1421843496_thumb.j

post-12761-0-50716100-1421843509_thumb.j

post-12761-0-01170500-1421843524_thumb.j

post-12761-0-39295600-1421843541_thumb.j

post-12761-0-39530600-1421843562_thumb.j

post-12761-0-75270900-1421843575_thumb.j

post-12761-0-49274700-1421843597_thumb.j

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice one!

I just found out about this plant a couple of months ago , just found a supplier (pet shop - tortoise food)

trouble is though , they ended up having 8 other "new" ones I now need :innocent_n:

awesome to see a post here about it

what a beauty, whatever it is

Edited by ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€ðяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahaha this is so weird! :lol:

I spent the last 3 days looking at some pictures from a last year's gardening fair including the ones of this particular clone, thinking if I should buy some this year even tough they are quite expensive for an Opuntia (~3 pads for 10E) and not really cold hardy, when similar cold hardy ones grow semi-feral everywhere around here.

post-13452-0-87197900-1421848365_thumb.j post-13452-0-44919100-1421848405_thumb.j

(Sorry for the intrusion gr33ntea, hope you don't mind. :) )

Edited by Tangich
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Sorry for the intrusion gr33ntea, hope you don't mind. :) )

haha all good man, damn, those opuntias are quite productive with all that fruit. I was interested in spineless opuntia for grafting. Opuntia root so much quicker then any other cactus (besides pereskiopsis) i know.

But the vascular rings are in such a tricky spot. I'll give it a shot with the aerole though :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

haha all good man, damn, those opuntias are quite productive with all that fruit. I was interested in spineless opuntia for grafting. Opuntia root so much quicker then any other cactus (besides pereskiopsis) i know.

But the vascular rings are in such a tricky spot. I'll give it a shot with the aerole thou

So have they fruited for you...& did you eat any...just wondering how good they taste?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey gr33ntea, do you consider your opuntia to be a genuine burbanks? 

 

I thought it was meant to be totally spineless. I have one that looks quite similar to yours, with the same amount of spines or glochids or whatever. Mine's not burbanks or anything, I'm wondering what's the difference..

 

Maybe yours is possibly not burbanks at all. Perhaps the seller just named it that because it looked spineless at the time.

 

Just wondering what your opinion is, as I really have no knowlege on the subject. Cheers!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good looking none the less, this is another pic from gr33ntea: Number.4 is the 'proposed' spineless burbank's - i love the look of it.

 

Edited by Skellum
Fix link
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

So have they fruited for you...& did you eat any...just wondering how good they taste?

I'll bet they taste better than any fruit in the whole world 

nuthn beats a good barbory fig 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wondering bout the fruit of the burbanks spineless opuntias too @gr33ntea - I realise this threads 2+ years old though.

If you still have any specimens grab us some pix, tell us about the fruits bro. Very nice plants!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@halyconDaze It was sold to me by a man who sells cacti at Victria Market in Melbourne. He seemed quite reputable.
Burbanks although described as spineless are most often 'almost spineless'
I think it is Burbanks cactus as it fits this description, especially the thick round bluish pads it produced: 

"A form of O.robusta reputedly bred by the fammous Luther Burbank for cattle-friendly fodder in WWII. Thick round bluish pads on a medium-sized bush. Okay outdoors in mild areas." - http://www.cacti.co.nz/library/opuntia-burbanks-spineless/

@skellum It never made any fruit as i always kept it in a pot and neglected it. :( I initially wanted it as a grafting stock, but the vascular rings were too close to the sides.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish Burbanks cactus instead of having no spines but having glochids, had spines but no glochids.

Better the devil you can see than the one that is invisible

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hearing ya bro,
The glochids are like fibreglass I hear realllly tiny and hard to see, to remove. The chick in the video I posted in godless listing for opuntia is eating a nice prickly pear from the fruit market.
She says in the video that the spines (glochids) have been removed, but she still manages to get them in her hand during the process lol.

I've got a few pads coming in the mail (of a nice fruiting orange cultivar). I plan to remove fruit with blade & tongs, then charr the fruit over coals, then scrub/wash and store in fruit bowl. Hopefully this works for me.
My interest has shifted from the more aesthetically pleasing (Burbanks Spineless) opuntias, toward the known good eating varieties as I believe they are just as aesthetic as the spineless varieties & they will produce delicious fruit.

Here's the link for godless' post offering local opuntia (good eating) which I believe is probably the orange variety judging by pictures:
http://www.shaman-australis.com/forum/index.php?/topic/44289-prickly-pear-potentially-for-sale/

Here's a link to an ebay seller who seems to specialize in opuntia selling extra large pads of both the red and orange varieties (good eating):
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/10-XL-prickly-pear-cactus-opuntia-ficus-indicus-pads-live-cuttings-RED-ORANGE-/201624597126?hash=item2ef1c33286:g:FLAAAOSwygJXhwNm

 

Easy, cool looking cactus IMO. I look forward to tasting the fruits in a few years time.

 

Edited by Skellum
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for clearing that up gr33ntea. I'll have to look out for a piece some time. Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

normal ficus-indica is grown in many greek islands as food for goats - I suppose they keep the fruits for them selves. 

 

Ficus indica is naturalised here, but I still haven't eaten the fruit or anything produced by it... 

 

opuntia compressa seems to be one of the best Opuntias to graft to

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×