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Key to families | Table of families and genera
Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.
Shrub or small tree, erect to decumbent, many-branched. Stem: regularly segmented, segments generally < 50 cm, < 5 cm diam, cylindric, fleshy, glabrous; ribs generally 0; tubercles generally elongate. Leaf: deciduous. Spines: 1–many per areole, < 2 mm diam, generally needle-shaped, smooth, straight, tip smooth or barbed, epidermis separating as a papery sheath; central spines generally not distinct from radial spines; glochids generally numerous in each areole. Flower: lateral to terminal, from distal portion of areole, 1.8–8 cm diam; perianth yellow, green-yellow, orange-yellow, to bronze, pink, or red; ovary glabrous, spines 0–many, glochids many in each areole, scales 0. Fruit: indehiscent; spheric or cylindric to obconic, dry or fleshy to leathery in age, green to dark yellow, glabrous, spiny or spines 0. Seed: 1.9–7 mm, flattened to ± spheric, surface smooth to angular, within an aril, bony and ± white when dry.
35 species: America. (Cylindric Opuntia) [Pinkava 2002 Succ Plant Res 6:59–98] Hybridization common. Young buds of some species used as for food, many species for ornamental.
Unabridged references: [Rebman & Pinkava 2001 Florida Entomol 84:474–483]
1. Fruit generally spineless or occasionally with few thin, deciduous spines, generally fleshy to leathery in age, occasionally slow-drying
2. Fruit generally bearing flowers; perianth purple-red ..... C. prolifera
2' Fruit not bearing flowers; perianth white to yellow, green, or red-brown
3. Terminal stem segment > 3 × longer than wide
4. Stem decumbent to erect, spines appearing sparse, spines of stem areoles generally ± equal, tubercles generally < 20 mm, oval; coastal, < 250 m ..... C. californica var. californica (2)
4' Stem erect, spines rather dense or if appearing sparse then tubercles generally > 20 mm, elliptic to elongate, spines of stem areoles generally with 1–3 longer central; inland, generally > 700 m ..... C. californica var. parkeri (2)
3' Terminal stem segment generally < 3 × longer than wide
5. Tubercle length ± = width ..... C. bigelovii
5' Tubercle length ± 2 × width
6. Spines 7–10 per tubercle; fruit < 2.5 cm; seed 0 or irregularly shaped, < 3 mm ..... C. ×fosbergii
6' Spines 9–16 per tubercle; fruit 2.5–3.5 cm; seed ± spheric, ± 3 mm ..... C. munzii
1' Fruit generally spiny, generally dry at maturity
7. Stem < 1 cm diam, tubercle generally < 1 mm high ..... C. ramosissima
7' Stem > 1.5 cm diam, tubercle > 3 mm high
8. Terminal stem segment generally < 1 dm, tubercle length < 2 × width ..... C. echinocarpa
8' Terminal stem segment generally > 1 dm, tubercle length > 3 × width
9. Stem generally branched above only; trunk generally 1, inner perianth parts generally yellow ..... C. acanthocarpa var. coloradensis
9' Stem generally branched near base; trunks several to many; inner perianth parts green-yellow, yellow, bronze, to red
10. Filaments red to magenta; perianth parts yellow, bronze, to red; e Sonoran Desert (extreme se San Diego Co., sw Imperial Co.) ..... C. wolfii
10' Filaments green to yellow; perianth parts yellow to yellow-green; South Coast, Peninsular Ranges, Sonoran Desert
11. Stem decumbent to erect, spines appearing sparse, tubercles generally < 20 mm, oval; coastal, < 250 m ..... C. californica var. californica (2)
11' Stem erect, spines rather dense or if appearing sparse then tubercles generally > 20 mm, elliptic to elongate; inland, generally > 250 m
12. Spines generally not prominent, not obscuring young segments; stem segments 14–43 cm, tubercles 16–35 mm ..... C. californica var. parkeri (2)
12' Spines prominent, obscuring young segments; stem segments 10–26 cm, tubercles 11–25 mm ..... C. ganderi
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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