Plants treelike, to 4 m (13 ft) high with distinct, woody trunks. Stem segments rounded to obovate, glossy yellowish green, thin, variable in size, commonly 15-20 cm (5.9-7.9 in) long. Leaves awl shaped, to 12 mm (0.5 in) long. Areoles elliptical, gray, 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 in) apart. Glochids yellowish to darker, variable, to 1 cm (0.4 in) long. Spines 2-8, translucent, bone colored to brownish to gray, lower ones curved, middle ones often flattened and twisted, to 4 cm (1.6 in) long. Flowers yellow, becoming reddish with age, to 2.5 cm (1 in) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) in diameter. Fruits obovoid to spindle shaped, red, with many glochids. Distribution: Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacan, Mexico
Opuntia galapageia Henslow 1837 ?Opuntia myriacantha F. A. C. Weber 1894, ?0. galapageia var. myria-
cantha (F. A. C. Weber) Backeberg 1958 Opuntia galapageia var. macrocarpa E. Y. Dawson 1965 Opuntia galapageia var.profusa E. F. Anderson & Walkington 1970
Plants treelike with well-developed, rounded crowns, 2-5 m (6.6-16 ft) high. Trunks usually well developed, spiny at first, later with reddish platelets. Stem segments round, oblong,
Opuntia galapageia var. galapageia, also illustrated on page 39
or obovate, green to yellow-green, 22-38 cm (8.7-15 in) long, 15-27 cm (5.9-11 in) wide, 1-3.5 cm (0.4-1.4 in) thick. Areoles 2-7 mm (to 0.3 in) in diameter, 25-35 mm (1-1.4 in) apart. Glochids few or absent. Spines 5-35, highly dimorphic, few on young segments, several on older ones, erect, yellow, becoming reddish or brownish white, 2.5-7.5 cm (1— 3 in) long. Flowers yellow, 4-7 cm (1.6-2.8 in) long, 3.5-6 cm (1.4-2.4 in) in diameter. Fruits globose to oblong, green, 2-6 cm (0.8-2.4 in) long, 2-3.5 cm (0.8-1.4 in) in diameter, with a few glochids and some spines. Distribution: mostly the arid zone near sea level in the Galápagos Islands.
Three varieties of Opuntia galapageia are recognized. Variety galapageia occurs near sea level on Bartolomé (Bartholomew), Pinta (Abingdon), and San Salvador (James or Santiago) Islands. Variety macrocarpa is found only on Pinzón (Duncan) Island in the shrubby and forested areas at elevations above 175 m (574 ft). Variety profusa tends to be only shrubby and occurs only on Rábida (Jervis) Island at sea level.
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