|Scientific Name||Opuntia phaeacantha||USDA PLANTS Symbol||OPPH|
|Common Name||Tulip Pricklypear||ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.||19724|
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
© Tom Lebsack 2022
Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County