Opuntia fragilis

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Scientific Name Opuntia fragilis USDA PLANTS Symbol
Common Name Brittle Pricklypear, Little Pricklypear ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
Family Cactaceae (Cactus) SEINet
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Description Life zones and habitat: Lower elevations through Foothills; sandy or gravelly soils or on granite outcrops, barren areas in grasslands, woodlands, forests.
Plant: Low-growing, mat or clump-forming perennial up to 5 inches tall, spreading in circles up to 3 to 5 feet in diameter; easily detached dark green pads flat, rounded or cylindrical shape, up to 2-1/2 inches long, 1+ inches wide.
Leaves: Gray, straight spines with brown tips, 3 to 8 per areole, up to 1-1/3 inches long.
Inflorescence: Solitary blossoms 1-1/4 to 2 inches across, yellow tepals may be reddish at base; white or red filaments; white style and green stigmas.
References: Descr. adapted from SEINet, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com, and US Forest Service Fire Effects Information System.
Colorado Status

© Tom Lebsack 2018