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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.
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, mound-forming. Stem: generally < 1 m; proximal branches generally decumbent, distal spreading to ascending; segments 15–25 cm, generally obovate; gray-green, glabrous. Spines: 3–12 in all areoles, longest 4–5 cm, straight, spreading from areole, ± appressed to stem, ± flat, yellow, coated chalky-white, base often red-brown. Flower: inner perianth 4–5 cm, yellow; filaments white; style white, stigma yellow-green to green. Fruit: 4–6.5 cm, juicy, red-purple throughout; areoles 20–32. Seed: 4–6 mm.
2n=66. Desert scrub, dry oak woodland; 900–1500 m. San Jacinto Mountains, Desert Mountains; to Nevada, Texas, Mexico. Hybridizes with Opuntia phaeacantha. Mar–May [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata (Griffiths) L.D. Benson & Walk.]
Unabridged note: Expanded author citation: Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck ex Engelm. var. engelmannii
Previous taxon: Opuntia chlorotica
Next taxon: Opuntia ficus-indica
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 24 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Opuntia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=62563, accessed on Apr 24 2014
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