|Scientific Name||Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha||USDA PLANTS Symbol||OPPOP|
|Common Name||Hairspine Pricklypear, Starvation Pricklypear||ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.||195296|
Life zones and habitat: Plains to montane (3500 to 9200 ft); clay, sandy or gravelly soils in open areas, grasslands, and woodlands.
Plant: Highly variable. Low-growing, spreading perennial 4 to 20 inches tall.
Pads & Spines:Broadly obovate to circular, flat pads, 3-3/8 to 4-3/4 inches long and 2-1/8 to 4-3/8 inches wide; areaole closely-spaced, 3/8-inch or less apart; usually 1 stiff central spine 1 to nearly 2 inches long per areole, often with 2 shorter central spines and several or numerous smaller radial spines; lower central spines may be flexible and curling; highly variable spine color.
Inflorescence: Solitary blossoms 1-1/4 to 2 inches across, yellow or yellow with reddish centers, to entirely orange or magenta; white, to cream-colored, yellowish or red filaments; cream-colored to pinkish style and dark green stigma lobes.
Bloom Period: June to August.
Fruit: Small, dry, spiny; about 1 inch or less long.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, "Cacti of Texas" by Powell, Weedin and Powell, 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