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Opuntia polyacantha
STARVATION 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

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 polyacantha Haw.
NATIVE
Stem: generally < 0.5 m; branches decumbent or ascending to erect; segments 5.5--20 cm, elliptic to obovate, green, glabrous. Spines: flat to round, generally +- white, base yellow-brown, surrounded by shorter, generally reflexed, whiter spines. Flower: inner perianth 2--2.5 cm, yellow to pink-magenta; filaments generally white (magenta); style white, stigma green. Fruit: 2.5--4 cm, green, tinted red, in age dry, tan. Seed: 5--6.5 mm.

eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt
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Citation for this treatment: Bruce D. Parfitt Opuntia polyacantha, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=35315, accessed on November 21, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on November 21, 2017.


Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea
click for enlargement
© 2012 James M. Andre
Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea
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© 2010 Gary A. Monroe
Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea
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© 2006 James M. Andre

More photos of Opuntia polyacantha in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Opuntia polyacantha:
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.
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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.