Nopalea cochenillifera


The Nopalea cochenillifera is a tree-like cactus. It grows several main branches from the base along with a large top (typically 10' - 12' high). This species forms a woody trunk. Flowers develop towards the top of the plant's joints. Flowers are numerous and pinkish-red in color. Blooming season takes place during colder months.

Traditionally, the Nopalea cochenillifera has been used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory and laxative. More recent medicinal uses include expedited exercise recovery and reduction of symptoms attributed to alcohol hangovers. In Mexico, medicines derived from this species are the most commonly used method to treat low blood sugar.

Please note: The Cactus King does not recommend using this or any other plant on our website for medicinal purposes.



1. Striking appearance (centerpiece species)
2. Numerous flowers blooming together

Wintertime color-

1. Blooming season takes place during colder months
2. Add color to your garden when your other plants have gone dormant


Cactus cochenillifer L.
Opuntia cochenillifer (L.) H.Karst.
Opuntia cochinellifera (L.) Mill.

Plant Details
USDA Zone Information: 
9 - 11
Flower : 
Ideal Light Conditions: 
Sun to partial shade
Ideal Water Conditions: 
Moderate in summer/Dry in winter
Mature Height: 
Tree-like 15'
Mature Width: 
Latin Name: 
Nopalea cochenillifera
Common Name: 
Nopalito, Cochineal Nopal Cactus, Cochineal Opuntia

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Corporate Clients (The King hangs hard)


RoboCop (1987)
RoboCop 2 (1990)
Hot Pursuit (2015)


USA Network's Queen of the South (2019)

Botanical Gardens:

New York Botanical Gardens
Oklahoma City Zoo/Botanical Gardens
Mercer Arboretum in Houston, Texas
Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan


Houston, TX Zoo
San Antonio, TX Zoo

Other Clientele:

Houston, TX Rodeo

The Cactus King's cacti and succulents have gone international! If you ever find yourself in China with a little spare time, head to the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom. It is the largest Aquarium in the world (no big deal, pun definitely intended).

The Cactus King's plants are also featured in the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom's partner parks. These include their water park, amusement park, crocodile park and botanical gardens.

Wholesale/Retail Hours

Monday through Saturday: 9am - 5:30pm

Sunday: Closed

Interested in becoming The King of wholesalers? Click the "Wholesale" tab above for more information.

Find your dream plant!

Addresses & Contact Information

Physical Address (IN-PERSON VISITS):
7900 I-45N
Houston TX, 77037

We're located directly next to the Tajj Inn.
Mailing Address (WEB ORDER PAYMENTS):

Lyn Rathburn
PO Box 16099
Houston, TX 77222

Please make checks/money orders out to "Lyn Rathburn."
Questions? Concerns? The CK team is here to help!

For assistance, please: Call
(281) 591-8833 or