This page is based on the 1993 Jepson Manual.
Please see the Jepson eFlora for up-to-date information about California vascular plants.
|Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange|
|TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL||
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
Print edition is available from the University of California Press
|The second edition of The Jepson Manual (2012) is available from the University of California Press|
|See also the Jepson eFlora, which parallels the Second Edition|
Perennial, shrub, tree, generally fleshy
Stem cylindric, spheric, or flat; surface smooth, tubercled, or ribbed (fluted); nodal areoles bear flowers, generally bear spines from center ("central spines") and margin ("radial spines") (Opuntia areoles bear small, barbed, deciduous bristles sometimes called glochids, generally also bear spines)
Leaf generally 0
Flower generally solitary, bisexual, sessile, ± radial; perianth parts generally many, grading from scale-like to petal-like; stamens many; ovary appearing inferior, ± submerged in stem, so generally with areoles on surface, style 1, stigma lobes generally many
Fruit generally fleshy, generally indehiscent, spiny, scaly, or smooth
Genera in family: 93 genera, ± 2000 species: especially Am deserts; many cultivated
Etymology: (Greek: thorny plant)
Reference: [Benson 1982 Cacti of US & Can; Hunt & Taylor eds 1990 Bradleya 8:85107]
Shrubs, trees; roots fibrous
Stem generally erect, < 12 m; segments flat to cylindric, generally firmly attached; tubercles generally elongate along stem; ribs sometimes present; spines 0many, sometimes flat, tip smooth or barbed, epidermis persistent or separating as a papery sheath; small, barbed deciduous bristles generally many
Leaf small, conic, fleshy, deciduous, obvious on young stems and ovaries
Fruit juicy, fleshy or dry; wall thick, bearing areoles
Seed dark brown, encased in a bony, whitish aril
Species in genus: 200 species: Am; O. ficus-indica cultivated for food, others for ornamental
Etymology: (Possibly from Papago Indian name ("opun") for this food plant; or named for a spiny plant of Opus, Greece)
Spines smaller, fewer in shade forms; when yellow, blacken with age.
Hybridization common within subgenera.
Stem 45 m, tree-like; segments, 2543 cm, flat, generally elliptic-obovate; spines generally 0 (6), if present, longest ± 13 cm, flat, white-tan or brown-gray
Flower: inner perianth yellow or orange; filaments pale green to pale pink; ovary tubercled, style white (pale pink), stigma green
Fruit 69 cm, juicy, yellow-orange or purple; areoles 4371
Seed 4.55 mm
Ecology: Uncommon. Dry coastal habitats
Elevation: 6450 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Central Coast, s Outer South Coast Ranges, South Coast, w Western Transverse Ranges, w Peninsular Ranges, s Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: cultivated in warm regions worldwide; native range unknown
[not O. megacantha Salm-Dyck]
|YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).|