I bought one that has hardly any needles, but I haven’t posted it yet because I don’t know the ID. I didn’t realize some come with less needles unless they’re breeding them that way. Hopefully I’ll see flowers, then I will post it. It was kinda different, dark green paddles with darker spots around the glochids. But I bought it because it had no needles. But maybe now in the ground under different conditions, it will change. 🤔🌞@beatnikcrab @txgardener
@txgardener luckily there are no squirrels where I live! I've had rats and apparently there have been raccoons around the neighborhood lately, but the only menace to my plants so far have been the damn thrasher birds that like to dig the dirt out of my pots and uproot some of my smaller plants occasionally. I don't even know what they're after! 😠 Some of my friends around here have rabbits and javelinas decimating their plants on the regular, so I really shouldn't complain. 😅
@sunlovin sometimes cacti will naturally develop fewer needles over time depending on the conditions they're grown in, but there are definitely some varieties that are uniformly without. I'm not sure if it was a naturally needle-less variety or if it was selectively bred, but there's a variety that's commonly grown in Mexico (and I'm sure elsewhere as well) for food. You can buy a paddle at some Mexican grocery stores and plant it, or I've seen it sold inexpensively online as reptile food.
@sunlovin look up Opuntia quimilo and see if that's what you've got. I bought some several years ago that sounds like what you describe. Small chubby paddles, no needles to speak of, and turns red-purple around the areoles when stressed. Photos online are highly variable, so either it changes appearance as it ages or it's an example of a distributor's mislabel that got perpetuated. 🤷🏻♀️ Opuntia 'fat fingers' looks very similar as well, and I've been seeing it around for the past year or so.