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ntroduced Photo: Ajinkya Gadave
Common name: Alfilerillo, Cola De Diablo
Botanical name: Pereskiopsis diguetii    Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)
Synonyms: Pereskiopsis velutina, Opuntia diguetii, Pereskiopsis digueti

Alfilerillo is a densely shrubby plant, branched from base, growing up to 1-2 m tall, with poorly developed trunks. Stems are reddish green, finely hairy, 4-8 mm in diameter. Leaves are elliptic-ovate, long pointed, wedge- shaped at the base, 2-6 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide. Areols are whiotish, with glochids, wool, hairs, and a few spines. Glochids are abundant, up to 2 mm long. Flowers are yellow, 1.2-3 inches across. Fruits are top-shape to ovoid, orange to yellow, sometimes becoming red, 2.5-7 cm long, 1-1.6 cm in diameter. Alfilerillo is native to Mexico.
Gardening notes: It is a very good grafting stock for most cacti. Since the diameter of this stock is small, even pea size pups of other cacti can be grafted on this stock. Growth of these grafts is very fast. When the grafts become top-heavy, they can be grown on their own roots or can be regrafted on larger stock, such as Acanthocereus pentagonus.

Identification credit: Nandan Kalbag
Photographed in Pune, Maharashtra.
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