|Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange|
|TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993)||
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.
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 spreading to sprawling in clumps < 9 m diam, 1 m; segments 1522 cm, flat, elliptic to narrowly obovate; spines 411 in all areoles, generally round, longest 24 cm, generally straight, upper spreading, lower ± reflexed, yellow, generally coated whitish, base yellow (brown)
Flower: inner perianth yellow to dull red; filaments orange-yellow; style pink or red, stigma yellow-green to green
Fruit 3.55 cm, juicy, dark red-purple throughout; areoles 2236
Seed 34.5 mm
Ecology: Coastal sage, chaparral
Elevation: 8400 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast, s Peninsular Ranges, Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: Mexico
Highly variable; hybridizes with other species of same chromosome number
Synonyms: O. semispinosa Griffiths, O. occidentalis Engelm. misapplied
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY: 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 &SUN: 16, 17.
|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).|