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Opuntia chlorotica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CactaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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 [5], 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.
Genera In Family: +- 125 genera, +- 1800 species: America (especially deserts), Africa; many cultivated, some edible. Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce D. Parfitt, Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: OpuntiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub. Stem: < 1 m; branches sprawling to +- erect; segments 19--35 cm, generally obovate, gray-green, glabrous. Spines: 3--6 in 90--100% of areoles, generally flat, generally straight, longest 2.5--5 cm, +- spreading, distal 1--2 yellow, coated +- white, base brown, proximal 2--4 shorter, +- reflexed. Flower: inner perianth yellow to deep pink; filaments generally yellow; style pink to white, stigma green. Fruit: 4.5--5 cm, juicy, red-purple; areoles 24--30. Seed: 4--5.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=66.
Note: Opuntia littoralis × (Opuntia engelmannii × Opuntia phaeacantha). Hybridizes with species of same chromosome number.

Opuntia chlorotica Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow
Habit: +- tree-like. Stem: 1.5--2 m; branches ascending; segments 13--20 cm, generally round, glabrous. Spines: 3--8 in at least distal areoles, longest 2.5--5 cm, generally straight, flat, +- reflexed, translucent yellow. Flower: inner perianth 2--2.5 cm, yellow; filaments white; style white, stigma yellow-green. Fruit: +- 4 cm, juicy; exterior purple-red; middle layer white, seed-pulp pink; areoles 40--70. Seed: 3 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Pinyon/juniper woodland, desert scrub edge, chaparral; Elevation: 600--1300 m. Bioregional Distribution: e PR, DMoj (desert mountains and lower montane slopes, canyons); Distribution Outside California: to Nevada, New Mexico, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: If recognized taxonomically, stabilized hybrids with Opuntia phaeacantha in DMtns (New York Mountains, eastern San Bernardino Co.), southern Nevada, western Arizona assignable to Opuntia curvispina Griffiths (2n=44).
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt
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Previous taxon: Opuntia basilaris var. treleasei
Next taxon: Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii

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Citation for this treatment: Bruce D. Parfitt Opuntia chlorotica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 17, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 17, 2017.

Opuntia chlorotica
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Opuntia chlorotica
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© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Opuntia chlorotica
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© 2004 James M. Andre
Opuntia chlorotica
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© 2004 James M. Andre
Opuntia chlorotica
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Opuntia chlorotica
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© 2015 Keir Morse

More photos of Opuntia chlorotica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Opuntia chlorotica:
e PR, DMoj (desert mountains and lower montane slopes, canyons);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.