Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf.
  • Med. Fl.
  • Eastern pricklypear


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2020): Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0000385811. Accessed on: 04 Aug 2020'

General Information

Shrubs, forming clumps or often prostrate, usually only 1 or 2 stem segments tall, to 0.5 m (except in Florida where they may be erect and reach to 2+ m with short trunk), flattened to obovoid, sometimes from tuberlike rootstocks. Stem segments not disarticulating, dark or bright shiny green, wrinkling when stressed, circular to broadly oblong to obovate, 5-17.5 × 4-12 cm, fleshy, usually tuberculate, glabrous; areoles 4-6 per diagonal row across midstem segment, oval to circular, 2-4 mm diam., not raised, sometimes somewhat sunken; wool tan to brown. Spines often absent or 1-2(-3) per areole, spreading, whitish to brownish, terete, straight, and usually stout, 25-60 mm; occasionally also 1 deflexed spine present. Glochids in dense crescent of adaxial edge of areole and in dense tuft overtopping crescent in age, yellow to red-brown, to 4 mm. Flowers: inner tepals pale to bright yellow throughout, 20-30 mm diam.; filaments yellow to orange; anthers pale yellow to cream; style and stigma lobes white. Fruits greenish, tardily becoming apricot to brownish red, elongate, 30-50 × 12-20 mm, fleshy, tapering at base; pulp green and sour, becoming reddish and sweet under ideal conditions; areoles 10-18. Seeds tan, 3.5-4.5 mm diam., thickish; girdle protruding to 1 mm.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    "Prostrate or spreading, forming large mats; roots mostly fibrous, only seldom tuberous-thickened; joints of the stem flattened, oblong to suborbicular, 4–12 cm at maturity; areoles commonly 10–25 mm apart, spineless, or some of them with 1, rarely 2 spines 1.5–3 cm; fls 4–8 cm wide, yellow, often with a red center; outer sep subulate to lanceolate; fr red or purple, 2.5–5 cm, edible; seeds discoid, with an indurate, regular margin. On rocks, shores, sand-dunes, or sandy prairies; e. Mass. to s. Ont. and s. Minn., s. to Fla. and e. Tex. June, July. (O. calcicola; O. compressa; O. opuntia; O. pollardii; O. rafinesquei; O. vulgaris, misapplied)"

  • Provided by: [D].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Morphology

    Perennial dwarf shrub, forming clumps or mats 0.1-0.3 x 2 m or more; cladodes procumbent or decumbent, glabrous, no > two pads high, elliptic to obovate or elliptic, 50-125 mm long, pale green, often tinged purple; areoles with dense glochidia. Spines absent or 1-3. Leaves up to 10 mm long, apex acute, early deciduous. Flowers: up to 100 mm long, 80 mm in diameter, perianth golden-yellow, orange or red in throat; Oct.-Dec. Fruit narrowly obovoid, 40-60 mm long, purple or red, purple inside.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Habitat

    Kalahari Deciduous Acacia-wooded Grassland; Dry Grassland; Mesic Grassland; Dwarf Karroid Shrubland; Zastron Moist Grassland. Grassland, savanna.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Distribution

    Native to North America.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    NameLanguageCountry
    Eastern pricklypear

      Bibliography

     Information From

    Cactaceae
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    e-Flora of South Africa
    e-Flora of South Africa. v1.21. 2018. South African National Biodiversity Institute. http://ipt.sanbi.org.za/iptsanbi/resource?r=flora_descriptions&v=1.21
    • B All Rights Reserved
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • C Flora of North America Association
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • D Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • E CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    International Union for Conservation of Nature v.3
    https://www.iucnredlist.org/
    IUCN 2019. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-1.
    • F See IUCN Terms and conditions of use http://www.iucnredlist.org/info/terms-of-use
    International Union for Conservation of Nature
    https://www.iucn.org/
    IUCN 2016. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2
    • G All Rights Reserved