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Opuntia stricta
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Opuntia stricta

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Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Opuntia humifusa

Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Opuntia humifusa

Opuntia littoralis var. vaseyi
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Opuntia littoralis var. vaseyi
Opuntia rufida
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Opuntia rufida

Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Jeremy Anderson 2012 · 5
Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Jeremy Anderson 2012 · 5
Opuntia humifusa

Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Jeremy Anderson 2012 · 5
Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Jeremy Anderson 2012 · 5
Opuntia humifusa

Opuntia humifusa
© Copyright Jeremy Anderson 2012 · 5
Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia ellisiana, flower
© Copyright Cody Parmer 2010 · 4
Opuntia ellisiana, flower

Opuntia engelmannii, Whole plant
© Copyright Steve Baskauf, 2002-2011 · 4
Opuntia engelmannii, Whole plant
Opuntia engelmannii, whole plant - unspecified
© Copyright Steve Baskauf, 2002-2011 · 4
Opuntia engelmannii, whole plant - unspecified

© John Pickering, 2004-2017 · 1
Opuntia.JP80005 36.320.jpg
© Photographer/source

Opuntia.JP80014 13.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Opuntia.JP80014 14.320.jpg
© Photographer/source

Opuntia.JP800319 24.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Opuntia.JP80070 03.320.jpg
© Photographer/source

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Andrenidae  Arhysosage atrolunata @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Arhysosage bifasciata @ AMNH_BEE (6)

Arhysosage flava @ AMNH_BEE (5)

Arhysosage ochracea @ AMNH_BEE (35)
Apidae  Anthophora urbana @ AMNH_BEE (28)

Anthophorula compactula @ AMNH_BEE (4)

Bombus centralis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Bombus huntii @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Diadasia rinconis @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Diadasia @ I_JSA (2)
Coreidae  Chelinidea vittiger @ UCR_ENT (13); AMNH_IZC (2)

Leptoglossus occidentalis @ UCR_ENT (1)

Narnia pallidicornis @ UCR_ENT (3)

Narnia snowi @ NCSU (8); UCRC_ENTA (1)

Narnia @ AMNH_PBI (1); UCR_ENT (1)
Dactylopiidae  Dactylopius confusus @ CSCA_TCN (4)
Halictidae  Halictus poeyi @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Lasioglossum ebmerellum @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Lygaeidae  Cnemodus mavortius @ AMNH_IZC (11)
Megachilidae  Heriades timberlakei @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Lithurgus @ I_JSA (1)

Megachile policaris @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Megachile texana @ AMNH_BEE (2); RUAC_ENT (15)

Trichothurgus laticeps @ AMNH_BEE (4)
Miridae  Hadronema simplex @ AMNH_PBI (1)
Pentatomidae  Chlorochroa sayi @ CSUC_TCN (2)

Dendrocoris contaminatus @ CSUC_TCN (1)
Reduviidae  Apiomerus californicus @ AMNH_PBI (1)

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Opuntia Mill.

Image of Opuntia

General Information
Symbol: OPUNT
Group: Dicot
Family: Cactaceae
Growth Habit :  
Native Status : CAN   N
HI   I
L48   I,N
PB   I
PR   I,N
VI   I,N
Other Common Names: cholla
Data Source and Documentation
About our new maps
Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Opuntia thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

©Thomas G. Barnes. Usage Requirements .

F.S. Baker. Provided by National Agricultural Library . Originally from USDA Forest Service . United States, UT. 1923. Usage Requirements .

Matt J. Culley. Provided by National Agricultural Library . Originally from USDA Forest Service . United States, AZ. 1939. Usage Requirements .

W.F. Hill. Provided by National Agricultural Library . Originally from USDA Forest Service . United States, FL, Lake Kerr. 1922. Usage Requirements .

Clark Miles. Provided by National Agricultural Library . Originally from USDA Forest Service . United States, WY, Wyoming National Forest. 1935. Usage Requirements .

W.H. Shaffer. Provided by National Agricultural Library . Originally from USDA Forest Service . United States, NM, Gila National Forest. 1939. Usage Requirements .




Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Caryophyllidae
Order Caryophyllales
Family Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus Opuntia Mill. – pricklypear

Subordinate Taxa

The Plants Database includes the following 61 species of Opuntia . Click below on a thumbnail map or name for species profiles. Plant is native (blue) Native Plant is introduced Introduced Plant is introduced Native and Introduced Related taxa legend Distribution of <i>
Opuntia aciculata</i>
Opuntia aciculata
chenille pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ammophila</i>
Opuntia ammophila
devil's-tongue Distribution of <i>
Opuntia atrispina</i>
Opuntia atrispina
border pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia aurantiaca</i>
Opuntia aurantiaca
tiger-pear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia aurea</i>
E.M. Baxter
Opuntia aurea
golden pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia aureispina</i>
(Brack & K.D. Heil) Pinkava & Parfitt
Opuntia aureispina
Rio Grande pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia austrina</i>
Opuntia austrina
devil's-tongue Distribution of <i>
Opuntia basilaris</i>
Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow
Opuntia basilaris
beavertail pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia borinquensis</i>
Britton & Rose
Opuntia borinquensis
olaga Distribution of <i>
Opuntia camanchica</i>
Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow
Opuntia camanchica
tulip pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia cantabrigiensis</i>
Lynch [excluded]
Opuntia cantabrigiensis
Distribution of <i>
Opuntia chihuahuensis</i>
Opuntia chihuahuensis
Chihuahua pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia chisosensis</i>
(Anthony) D.J. Ferguson
Opuntia chisosensis
Chisos Mountain pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia chlorotica</i>
Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow
Opuntia chlorotica
dollarjoint pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia cochenillifera</i>
(L.) Mill.
Opuntia cochenillifera
cochineal nopal cactus Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×columbiana</i>
Griffiths (pro sp.) [<i>
fragilis × polyacantha</i>
Opuntia ×columbiana [ fragilis × polyacantha ]
grizzleybear pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia cordobensis</i>
Speg. [excluded]
Opuntia cordobensis
Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×cubensis</i>
Britton & Rose [<i>
stricta × triacantha</i>
Opuntia ×cubensis [ stricta × triacantha ]
bullsuckers Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×curvospina</i>
Griffiths (pro sp.) [<i>
chlorotica × phaeacantha</i>
Opuntia ×curvospina [ chlorotica × phaeacantha ]
searchlight pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia cymochila</i>
Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow
Opuntia cymochila
grassland pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×demissa</i>
Griffiths (pro sp.) [<i>
ficus-indica × sp.</i>
Opuntia ×demissa [ ficus-indica × sp. ]
pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia dillenii</i>
(Ker Gawl.) Haw.
Opuntia dillenii
erect pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia edwardsii</i>
V.E. Grant & K.A. Grant
Opuntia edwardsii
Edwards' pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ellisiana</i>
Opuntia ellisiana
tigertongue Distribution of <i>
Opuntia engelmannii</i>
Salm-Dyck ex Engelm.
Opuntia engelmannii
cactus apple Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ficus-indica</i>
(L.) Mill.
Opuntia ficus-indica
Barbary fig Distribution of <i>
Opuntia fragilis</i>
(Nutt.) Haw.
Opuntia fragilis
brittle pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia gosseliniana</i>
F.A.C. Weber
Opuntia gosseliniana
violet pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia humifusa</i>
(Raf.) Raf.
Opuntia humifusa
devil's-tongue Distribution of <i>
Opuntia laevis</i>
J.M. Coult.
Opuntia laevis
tulip pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia leucotricha</i>
Opuntia leucotricha
arborescent pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia littoralis</i>
(Engelm.) Cockerell
Opuntia littoralis
coastal pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia macrocentra</i>
Opuntia macrocentra
purple pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia macrorhiza</i>
Opuntia macrorhiza
twistspine pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia martiniana</i>
(L.D. Benson) Parfitt
Opuntia martiniana
seashore cactus Distribution of <i>
Opuntia megacantha</i>
Salm-Dyck [excluded]
Opuntia megacantha
Distribution of <i>
Opuntia microdasys</i>
(Lehm.) N.E. Pfeiffer
Opuntia microdasys
angel's-wings Distribution of <i>
Opuntia monacantha</i>
(Willd.) Haw.
Opuntia monacantha
common pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×occidentalis</i>
Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow (pro sp.) [<i>
littoralis × (engelmannii × phaeacantha)</i>
Opuntia ×occidentalis [ littoralis × (engelmannii × phaeacantha) ]
pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia oricola</i>
Opuntia oricola
chaparral pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia phaeacantha</i>
Opuntia phaeacantha
tulip pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia pinkavae</i>
Opuntia pinkavae
Pinkava's pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia polyacantha</i>
Opuntia polyacantha
plains pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia pusilla</i>
(Haw.) Haw.
Opuntia pusilla
cockspur pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia repens</i>
Opuntia repens
roving pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia riviereana</i>
Opuntia riviereana
Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×rooneyi</i>
M.P. Griff. [<i>
aureispina × macrocentra</i>
Opuntia ×rooneyi [ aureispina × macrocentra ]
Rooney's pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia rufida</i>
Opuntia rufida
blind pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia sanguinea</i>
Opuntia sanguinea
blood-red pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia santa-rita</i>
(Griffiths & Hare) Rose
Opuntia santa-rita
Santa Rita pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×spinosibacca</i>
Anthony (pro sp.) [<i>
aureispina × phaeacantha</i>
Opuntia ×spinosibacca [ aureispina × phaeacantha ]
pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia stricta</i>
(Haw.) Haw.
Opuntia stricta
erect pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia strigil</i>
Opuntia strigil
marblefruit pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia tenuiflora</i>
Opuntia tenuiflora
bell-flower pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia tomentosa</i>
Opuntia tomentosa
woollyjoint pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia triacantha</i>
(Willd.) Sweet
Opuntia triacantha
Spanish lady Distribution of <i>
Opuntia tuna</i>
(L.) Mill.
Opuntia tuna
elephantear pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia turbinata</i>
Opuntia turbinata
turban prickly pear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia valida</i>
Opuntia valida
San Antonio pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×vaseyi</i>
(J.M. Coult.) Britton & Rose [<i>
littoralis × phaeacantha</i>
Opuntia ×vaseyi [ littoralis × phaeacantha ]
Vasey's coastal pricklypear Distribution of <i>
Opuntia ×wootonii</i>
Griffiths [<i>
engelmannii × phaeacantha</i>
Opuntia ×wootonii [ engelmannii × phaeacantha ]
Wooton's pricklypear Plant is native (blue) Native Plant is introduced Introduced Plant is introduced Native and Introduced Related taxa legend

Legal Status

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
CalPhotos (OPUNT)
Flora of North America (OPUNT)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (OPUNT)
Jepson Interchange (University of California - Berkeley) (OPUNT)
Related Websites
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (OPUNT)
MS-Early Detection and Reporting of Cactus Moth (OPUNT)
TX-Tracking the Cactus Moth (OPUNT)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds
Martin Low Moderate Low


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Martin, A.C., H.S. Zim, and A.L. Nelson. 1951. American wildlife and plants: A guide to wildlife food habits . Dover Publications. New York.

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover
High Average 25-50% of diet Regular source of cover
Low 5-10% of diet Infrequently used as cover
Minor 2-5% of diet Sparsely used as cover
Moderate Average 10-25% of diet Occasional source of cover

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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Cactaceae

4. Opuntia Miller, Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4. vol. 2. 1754.

Pricklypear, nopal [origin uncertain; possibly based on name of Greek town (Opus perhaps) where a cactus-like plant grew]

Donald J. Pinkava

Trees or shrubs, erect to trailing, usually many branched, sometimes forming clumps or mats; trunk, when present, initially segmented, appearing continuous with age, main axis determinate, usually terete. Stem segments green or sometimes reddish to purple, usually flattened, circular, elliptic, ovate, lanceolate, or obovate to oblanceolate, 2-60(-120) × 1.2-40 cm, nearly smooth to tuberculate, glabrous or pubescent; areoles usually elliptic, circular, or obovate, 3-8(-10) × 1-7(-10) mm; wool white, gray, or tan to brown, aging white or gray to black. Spines 0-15+ per areole, white, yellow to brown, red-brown to gray, or black, sometimes partly to wholly white chalky (chalkiness disappearing when wet), aging gray to dark brown to black, with epidermis intact, not sheathed, acicular to subulate, sometimes setose or with hairlike bristles, terete to angular-flattened, to 75(-170) mm, tips sometimes paler or yellow. Glochids in adaxial crescent at margin of areole, in tuft or encircling areole margin, white to yellow to brown, or red-brown, aging white to brown or red-brown. Flowers bisexual or sometimes functionally staminate, radially symmetric; outer tepals green to yellow with margins tinged color of inner tepals; inner tepals pale yellow to orange, pink to red or magenta, rarely white (unicolored) or with base of a different color (bicolored), oblong to spatulate, emarginate-apiculate; nectar chamber simple, open, not covered by proximal thickening style. Pollen yellow, grains reticulate or foveolate (opuntioid type). Fruits sometimes proliferating (sprouting from another fruit), if fleshy, green, yellow, or red to purple or, if dry, tan to gray, straight, sometimes stipitate, clavate to cylindric, ovoid, or obovoid to subspheric, 10-120 × 8-120 mm, fleshy to juicy or dry, smooth or tuberculate, spineless or spiny, sometimes burlike. Seeds pale yellow to tan or gray, generally circular to reniform, flattened (discoid) to subspheric, angular to squarish, sometimes warped, 2-7 × 2-7 mm, glabrous, commonly bearing 1-4 large, shallow depressions due to pressures from adjacent developing seeds; girdle protruding 0.3-3.5 mm, forming ridge or flat wing, or not protruding. x = 11.

Species ca. 150 species (34 in the flora): widespread in North America, Mexico, West Indies, South America, including the Galápagos Islands; some species introduced to and naturalized in the Old World.

Many taxa are cultivated for ornamental plants, food, and animal fodder. Some species of Opuntia become obnoxious weeds; some species have been planted in Africa for stabilization of sand dunes.

Three species have been reported (L. D. Benson 1982) as escaped from cultivation: Opuntia leucotricha de Candolle, O. tomentosa Salm-Dyck, and O. monacantha (Willdenow) Haworth (as O. vulgaris ). No extant populations are known in the flora.

Many interspecific hybrids are known and have been named; only five are fully treated here; two other named hybrids recognized by the author are briefly described and cross-referenced under putative parent taxa.


Grant, V. and K. A. Grant. 1979. Systematics of the Opuntia phaeacantha group in Texas. Bot. Gaz. 140: 199-207. Parfitt, B. D. and M. A. Baker. 1993. Opuntia . In: J. C. Hickman, ed. 1993. The Jepson Manual. Higher Plants of California. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London. Pp. 452-457. Philbrick, R. N. 1963. Biosystematic studies of two Pacific coast opuntias. Ph.D. thesis. Cornell University. Pinkava, D. J. 2003. Cactaceae cactus family: Part 6. J. Arizona-Nevada Acad. Sci. 35: 137-150.

Following modified from CalPhotos
   Top | See original

http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Opuntia+sp.&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Opuntia+sp.&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant
&pull 20q v4.662 20091102: Error 500 Can't connect to calphotos.berkeley.edu:443 https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Opuntia+sp.&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant

Updated: 2018-04-27 04:43:34 gmt
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