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Key to families | Table of families and genera
Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Perennial herb, shrub, tree, generally fleshy. Stem: cylindric to spheric, or flat; surface smooth, tubercled, or ribbed (grooved); nodal areoles bearing flowers. Leaf: generally 0 or early-deciduous, flat to ± cylindric. Spines: areoles generally with central, radial spines, occasionally with glochids. Flower: generally 1 per areole, bisexual [unisexual], sessile, radial [bilateral]; perianth parts generally many , scale-like to petal-like; stamens many; ovary inferior [superior], style 1, stigma lobes generally several [many]. Fruit: dry to fleshy or juicy, indehiscent to variously dehiscent, spiny, scaly, or naked; tubercled or smooth. Seed: generally many, occasionally 0–few.
± 125 genera, ± 1800 species: America (especially deserts), Africa; many cultivated, some edible. [Parfitt & Gibson 2004 FNANM 4:92–257] Spines smaller, fewer (0) in shade forms; yellow spines blacken in age. Introduced species increasingly escape cultivation. Hybridization common in some genera. Taxa of Escobaria in TJM (1993) moved to Coryphantha. —Scientific Editors: Bruce D. Parfitt, Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Hunt 2006 The New Cactus Lexicon, DH Books, Milborne Port, England]
Key to Cactaceae
Shrub, tree; roots fibrous [tuberous]. Stem: generally erect, < 6  m; segments generally flat (± cylindric), generally firmly attached; tubercles 0 to ± developed; ribs 0. Leaf: small, conic, fleshy, deciduous, present on young stems, ovaries. Spines: 0–many per areole, cylindric or flat, tip smooth or barbed, epidermis persistent; glochids generally many. Fruit: juicy, fleshy or dry; wall thick, bearing areoles; spiny or not. Seed: in a bony, ± white aril.Key to Opuntia
± 150 species: America; Opuntia ficus-indica cultivated for food, others for ornamental. (Possibly from Papago Indian name ("opun") for this food plant; or for a spiny plant of Opus, Greece) Spines smaller, fewer in shade forms; yellow spines blacken in age. Spineless stems, ovaries, and fruit generally with glochids, these occasionally long, conspicuous; hybridization common. Taxa with cylindric to club-shaped stems moved to Cylindropuntia, Grusonia.
Shrub. Stem: <= 1.5 m, clumps < 9 m diam; branches spreading to sprawling; segments 15–22 cm, oblong-elliptic to narrowly obovate, gray-green, glabrous. Spines: 4–11 in all areoles, longest 2–4 cm, generally round, generally straight, distal spreading, proximal ± reflexed, yellow, generally coated ± white, base yellow (brown). Flower: inner perianth yellow to dull red; filaments orange-yellow; style pink or red, stigma yellow-green to green. Fruit: 3.5–5 cm, juicy, dark red-purple throughout; areoles 22–36. Seed: 3–4.5 mm.
2n=66. Coastal-sage scrub, chaparral; 8–400 m. South Coast, Channel Islands, s Peninsular Ranges; Mexico. Highly variable. Hybridizes with other species of same chromosome number. Apr–Jun [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Opuntia semispinosa Griffiths; Opuntia occidentalis Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow, misappl.]
Previous taxon: Opuntia leucotricha
Next taxon: Opuntia microdasys
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 28 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Opuntia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=35277, accessed on May 28 2015
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© 2002 Lynn Watson
|Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Opuntia littoralis|| Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).
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