New Mexico pricky-pear Opuntia phaeacantha


$4.75 $6.79

Shipping to United States: $16.96
  • Details
    Opuntia phaeacantha is a species of prickly pear cactus known by the common names brown-spine prickly pear, 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.
    Opuntia phaeacantha has a mounding habit of flattened green pads. The pads are protected by clusters of spines. Each cluster bearing 1-4 spines. The spines are brown, reddish-brown, yellowish, or gray, usually darker brownish toward the base than the tip, and often over 3 cm in length. At the base of the spine cluster is a round tuft of easily detached yellowish to reddish or brown bristles called Glochids. Glochids are also present on the fruit. This is the source for the plants common name "prickly pear".
    The flowers are bright yellow with a pale green to orange or red center. In some regions occasional plants may produce flowers of other colors such as orange, pink, or magenta. The edible fruits are usually red or purple with a pink seedy flesh. The fruit has a mild watermelon or pear flavor. Both the fruit and the fleshy pads provide an important food resource for desert wildlife.
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