Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha

(Hairspine Prickly Pear)

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Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha, Pawnee Buttes Trail, Pawnee National Grassland, Weld Co. 7641

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Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha, Along CR 12 west of Pawnee Buttes, Weld Co. 7990

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Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha, North of Canon City on CO Hwy 9, Fremont Co. 0725

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Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha, North of Canon City on CO Hwy 9, Fremont Co. 0745

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Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha, Fourmile Area, Chaffee Co. 6365

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Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha, Pawnee Buttes Trail, Pawnee National Grassland, Weld Co. 7645

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Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha, Fourmile Area, Chaffee Co. 6369

Scientific Name Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha USDA PLANTS Symbol OPPOP
Common Name Hairspine Pricklypear, Starvation Pricklypear ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 195296
Family Cactaceae (Cactus) SEINet
Reference
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Description 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
Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

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