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Opuntia ficus-indica
MISSION PRICKLY-PEAR

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CactaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CACTUS FAMILY
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

Common Name: PRICKLY-PEAR
Habit: Shrub, tree; roots fibrous [tuberous]. Stem: generally erect, < 6 [12] 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.
Species In Genus: +- 150 species: America; Opuntia ficus-indica cultivated for food, others for ornamental. Etymology: (Possibly from Papago Indian name ("opun") for this food pl; or for a spiny plant of Opus, Greece) Note: 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.

Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.
NATURALIZED
Habit: Tree-like. Stem: 4--5 m; branches generally ascending; segments 25--43 cm, generally elliptic-obovate, gray-green, glabrous. Spines: generally 0(6) per areole, if present then longest +- 1--3 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: 6--9 cm, juicy, yellow-orange or purple; areoles 43--71. Seed: 4.5--5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=88.
Ecology: Dry coastal habitats; Elevation: 6--450 m. Bioregional Distribution: s CCo, s SCoRO, SCo, s ChI, w WTR, w PR; Distribution Outside California: cultivated in warm regions worldwide; native range unknown. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: Hybrids with Opuntia phaeacantha uncommon.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt
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Citation for this treatment: Bruce D. Parfitt 2016. Opuntia ficus-indica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=35241, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 03, 2016.


Opuntia ficus-indica
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Opuntia ficus-indica
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© 2006 Steve Matson
Opuntia ficus-indica
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© 2006 Steve Matson

More photos of Opuntia ficus-indica in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Opuntia ficus-indica:
s CCo, s SCoRO, SCo, s ChI, w WTR, w PR;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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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).

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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.