Opuntia cespitosa Raf.

Prickly Pear

Opuntia cespitosa plant

Family - Cactaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Opuntia cespitosa pad

Leaves - Reduced to small conic bracts or absent. Bracts typically one subtending each areole on new growth, glabrous. Spines typically one per areole plus many glochids.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Opuntia cespitosa flower

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Glades, prairies, sand and gravel washes along streams, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This cactus is common throughout central and southern Missouri. It is one of two species of cactus that grow wild in Missouri. O. macrorhiza Engelm. is similar but much less common in the state. It occurs only in the extreme southwestern corner of the state. These two species may not be distinct from one another but most botanists continue to separate them. The flower of O. macrorhiza looks like this:

Opuntia cespitosa flower

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 7-1-99, in Daytona Beach, FL., 7-3-02, and at the Holly Ridge Conservation Area, Stoddard County, MO., 6-14-03.