Opuntia auberi Pfeiffer 1840

LENGUA DE VACA, NOPAL DE LENGÜITA Nopalea auberi (Pfeiffer) Salm-Dyck 1850

Plants treelike, 3-8 m (9.8-26 ft) or more high with branches produced from the trunks at right angles; trunks cylindrical, spineless, with brownish glochids. Stem segments wide, bulky, blue-green to gray-green, to 30 cm (12 in) long. Spines 2-3, sometimes absent, white with dark tips. Flowers dark rose, to 9 cm (3.5 in) long. Fruits not known. Distribution: Mexico and Cuba.

Opuntia auberi

Opuntia aurantiaca Gilles exLindley 1833 Cactus aurantiacus (Gilles ex Lindley) Gilles 1839 Opuntia extensa Salm-Dyck 1837

Plants shrubby, much branched, spreading to form dense clumps with prostrate to somewhat erect branches, to 30 cm (12 in) high. Stem segments linear to club shaped, dark green to nearly black, 5-15 cm (2-5.9 in) long, 10-15 cm (3.9-5.9 in) wide, 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in) thick. Areoles large, grayish white. Glochids short, pale yellow. Spines 2-3, sometimes as many as 6, awl shaped, straight, brownish to yellowish, 1-3 cm (0.4-1.2 in) long, upper ones stouter, lower ones sometimes thin and bristly. Flowers deep yellow to orange-yellow,

Opuntia aureispina to 4 cm (1.6 in) in diameter. Fruits pear shaped, purplish red, very spiny, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Distribution: Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Opuntia aurea McCabe ex E. M. Baxter 1933


Plants shrubby, low, prostrate and crawling along the ground. Stem segments elliptical to ovate, green, often on edge, 5-10 cm (2-3.9 in) long, 3-6 cm (1.2-2.4 in) broad. Areoles round. Glochids brown to tan, to 3 mm long. Spines absent. Flowers yellow, 5-7.5 cm (2-3 in) long and in diameter. Fruits green, spineless, 1.5-2.5 cm (0.6-1 in) in diameter. Distribution: Utah.

Opuntia aureispina (S. Brack & K. D. Heil) Pinkava 8c B. D.


Opuntia macrocentra var. aureispina S. Brack & K. D. Heil 1988

Plants shrubby, large with many branches near ground level, upright, to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) high with heavily spined short trunks. Stem segments round to ovate, light blue-green to yellow-green, glaucous, 8-12 cm (3.1-4.7 in) long and broad. Areoles blackish. Spines from all areoles, usually 3-5, light brown to bright yellow to sometimes black, all with yellow tips, sometimes flattened and twisted. 2-6 cm (0.8-2.4 in) long. Flowers yellow, bright orange or red basally, 6-8 cm (2.4-3.1 in) long, 6-7 cm (2.4-2.8 in) in diameter. Fruits green to slightly red, 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 in) long, 2-2.5 cm (0.8-1 in) in diameter, covered with rigid spines. Distribution: Brewster County, west Texas.

Opuntia auberi

Opuntia austrina Small 1903 Opuntia pollardi Britton & Rose 1908 Opuntia polycarpa Small 1933

Plants shrubby, creeping or ascending with irregular branching, to 1 m (3.3 ft) high. Roots tuberous. Stem segments oval to more or less round to elliptical to obovate, thin, deep or bright green, 5-10 cm (2-3.9 in) long. Leaves ascending, stout, awl shaped, green with purple tint, 4-7 mm (to 0.3 in) long. Areoles prominent. Glochids yellow or brown. Spines 1-2, slender, needle-like, yellow to red, becoming whitish with age, 3-5.5 cm (1.2-2.2 in) long. Flowers light yellow, 6-7 cm (2.4-2.8 in) in diameter. Fruits narrowly obovoid, purple, 2.5-3.5 cm (1-1.4 in) long. Distribution: Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

Opuntia azurea Rose 1909 C0Y0TILL0, NOPAL COYOTILLO

Plants small treelike, 1-2 m (3.3-6.6 ft) high, erect, compact, with single trunks. Stem segments orbicular to obovate, glaucous greenish blue, 10-15 cm (3.9-5.9 in) long and in diameter. Glochids numerous, dark. Spines 1-3, unequal, almost black with age, more or less diverging, 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2 in) long. Flowers intense yellow. Fruits ovoid to globose, red, spineless, edible. Distribution: San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Durango, and Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Opuntia xbakeri J. E. Madsen 1989, as a species

Opuntia xbakeri is apparently a naturally occurring hybrid, probably O. pubescensx O. soederstromiana (Madsen 1989). Distribution: Ecuador.

Opuntia basilaris Engelmann & Bigelow 1856


(J. M. Coulter) J. M. Coulter ex Tourney 1901 Opuntia brachyclada Griffiths 1914,0. basilaris var. brachyclada

(Griffiths) Munz 1935 Opuntia humistrata Griffiths 1916,0. basilaris var. humistrata (Griffiths) W.T. Marshall 1941 Opuntia whitneyana E. M. Baxter 1935,0. basilaris var. whitneyana (E. M. Baxter) W. T. Marshall 1941,0. basilaris subsp. whitneyana (E.M.Baxter) Munz 1958 Opuntia longiareolata Clover & Jotter 1941,0. basilaris var. longiare-

olata (Clover & Jotter) 1. D. Benson 1950 Opuntia basilaris var. heilii S. L. Welsh & Neese 1983

Plants shrubby, low growing, forming dense clumps to 50 cm (20 in) high and 2 m (6.6 ft) wide. Stem segments obovate to round to elongate to wedge shaped, blue-green, often with purplish tint, finely papillate, 5-20 cm (2-7.9 in) long, 4-10 cm (1.6-3.9 in) wide, to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) thick. Areoles usually round. Glochids brown to tan, to 3 mm long. Spines usually absent. Flowers cherry red to yellow, rarely white, 57.5 cm (2-3 in) long and in diameter. Fruits green, dry at maturity, spineless, 2.5-3 cm (1-1.2 in) long, 1.5-2.2 cm (0.60.9 in) in diameter. Distribution: California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, and adjacent Sonora, Mexico.

The stem of Opuntia basilaris is used medicinally by the Shoshoni (Chapter 2, under Cacti as Medicine). Four varieties of O. basilaris are recognized by Donald Pinkava (pers. comm.). Variety basilaris has obovate segments to more than 15 cm (5.9 in) long; it occurs throughout much of the range of the species. Variety brachyclada tends to have smaller segments; it occurs only in chaparral vegetation and the desert edges of California. Variety longiareolata has wedge-shaped, narrow stem segments; it occurs in the Mojave Desert of California and eastward into Arizona and the Grand Canyon. Variety treleasei has narrowly elliptical or obovate stem segments, often bearing a few spines; it occurs in the Pacific grassland and Mojave Desert of California and is listed (as O. treleasei) as endangered in the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Opuntia bella Britton & Rose 1919

Plants shrubby, forming dense thickets to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) high. Stem segments oblong, marginally wavy, dull dark green, 10-16 cm (3.9-6.3 in) long. Leaves to 2.5 mm long. Areoles

Opuntia bella

Opuntia Auberi

Opuntia bella slightly elevated, small, with brown felt. Glochids brown. Spines 2-6, unequal, needle-like, white, to 2 cm (0.8 in) long. Flowers sulfur yellow, turning orange-red with age, to 5 cm (2 in) long. Fruits small, greenish yellow. Distribution: western Colombia.

Opuntia bensonii Sánchez-Mejorada 1972

Plants shrubby to treelike with well-defined main trunks, much branched from near the base, forming very dense clumps 2-4 m (6.6-13 ft) high. Stem segments widely obo-vate, glabrous, green with reddish tint near the areoles, becoming purple to violet in winter, to 30 cm (12 in) long and 20 cm (7.9 in) wide. Glochids intense yellow, numerous, 5-6 mm (0.2 in) long. Spines 5-9, needle-like, white with dark tips, 2.2-3.5 cm (0.9-1.4 in) long; spines in the lower parts of the areole diverging, bent backward, those in the upper parts of the areoles 1-3, erect. Flowers intensely yellow, to 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long and 2.5 cm ( 1 in) in diameter. Fruits obconical to pear shaped, reddish purple, with many glochids, edible, 6-7 cm (2.4-2.8 in) long. Distribution: Michoacán, Mexico.

Continue reading here: Opuntia bisetosa Pittier 1936

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