|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
AND IS MAINTAINED FOR ARCHIVAL PURPOSES ONLY
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 decumbent to ± spreading, 0.31 m; segments flat, 1130 cm, generally obovate; spines 14(6) per areole on upper 3070% of segment, largest 38 cm, generally flat, spreading, upper 12 red-brown near base, white or straw-colored except at base, smaller 13 ± reflexed, generally white or gray
Flower: inner perianth 3.54 cm, yellow, base red; filaments white; style white, stigma yellow-green to green
Fruit 2.56.5 cm, juicy, red-purple; interior generally green; areoles 1532
Seed 36 mm
Ecology: Many habitats
Elevation: 452220 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer South Coast Ranges, San Bernardino Mountains, e Peninsular Ranges, Desert Mountains, Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: to South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico
Synonyms: var. major Engelm.; O. littoralis var. piercei (Fosb.) L.D. Benson & Walkington; probably O. mojavensis Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY: 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.