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Opuntia phaeacantha

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Kingdom  Plantae
Family  Cactaceae
Scientific name  Opuntia phaeacantha
Rank  Species
Order  Caryophyllales
Genus  Opuntia
Higher classification  Prickly pear
Opuntia phaeacantha hasbrouckasueduimglibseinetCactaceaephotosO
Similar  Prickly pear, Cactus, Opuntia engelmannii, Opuntia polyacantha, Opuntia fragilis

Opuntia phaeacantha


Opuntia phaeacantha is a species of prickly pear cactus known by the common names tulip prickly pear and desert prickly pear found across the southwestern United States, lower Great Plains, and northern Mexico. The plant forms dense but localized thickets. Several varieties of this particular species occur, and it also hybridizes easily with other prickly pears, making identification sometimes tricky.

Contents

Opuntia phaeacantha Southwest Colorado Wildflowers Cactaceae

Description

Opuntia phaeacantha Opuntia phaeacantha tulip prickly pear

O. phaeacantha has a characteristic prickly pear appearance, with flattened green pads bearing wool and spines. The spines are brown, reddish-brown, or gray, and often over 3 cm in length.

Opuntia phaeacantha Desert Prickly Pear Opuntia phaeacantha

The flowers are usually bright yellow with reddish centers, and sometimes peach, pinkish or reddish overall. The edible fruits are red or purple with green flesh. The pads and fruit bear tiny glochids which can lodge in the skin and cause irritation.

This plant, like other Opuntia species, is attacked by cactus moth.

Opuntia phaeacantha Opuntia phaeacantha Prickly Pear plant lust

Older names for this species, and names for old species which are now considered variants of this species, include plateau prickly pear, brown-spined prickly-pear, Mojave prickly pear, and Kingman prickly pear.

The species is widespread, from California to Texas to Colorado, and into Mexico. There are multiple variations and perhaps these will be described as varieties or full species some day.

References

Opuntia phaeacantha Wikipedia


Similar Topics
Cactus
Opuntia engelmannii
Opuntia fragilis
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