Opuntia phaeacantha

(Tulip Prickly Pear)

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Opuntia phaeacantha, North of Canon City on CO Hwy 9, Fremont Co. 0715

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Opuntia phaeacantha, North of Canon City on CO Hwy 9, Fremont Co. 0720

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Opuntia phaeacantha, North of Canon City on CO Hwy 9, Fremont Co. 0718

Scientific Name Opuntia phaeacantha USDA PLANTS Symbol OPPH
Common Name Tulip Pricklypear ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 19724
Family Cactaceae (Cactus) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to foothills (4600 to 7500 ft); sandy to rocky soils in open, dry areas.
Plant: Variable species. Low-growing, sprawling, decumbent perennial 12 to 24 inches tall in summer; lower in winter as stems collapse.
Pads & Spines: Green pads flat, rounded 4 to almost 10 inches long and 2-3/4 to 8-1/4 inches across; areoles 3/8 to 3/4-inch apart, tan to brown turning gray with age; none or 2 to 8 spines per areole in upper 3/4 portion of pad, each 1-1/8 to 3-1/8 inches long, brown to red-brown or chalky white; dense brown glochid tufts 2/10 inch tall.
Inflorescence: Yellow flowers with red near the base, sometimes entirely pink or red,up to 1-5/8 inches long; many stamens, filaments greenish (lower) to pale yellow or white (upper); white style supporting green to yellow-green stigma lobes.
Bloom Period: June to July.
Fruit: Fleshy, red to purple, spineless, obovate to barrel-shaped, 1-1/8 to 2 inches long and 3/4 to 1-1/8 inches across.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, SEINet and Opuntia Web.
BONAP Distribution Map


Map Color Key
Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County