Plants tall shrubby to treelike, becoming fairly tall, 4-5 m (13-16 ft), sometimes with trunks. Stem segments large, obovate to oblong, green, slightly glaucous, 40-60 cm (1624 in) or more long. Leaves small, green or purplish. Areoles small, 4-5 cm (1.6-2 in) apart, brownish. Glochids small, yellow, falling away. Spines 1-5, whitish, diverging, 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2 in) long. Flowers yellow to orange, to 8 cm (3.1 in) long. Fruits 7-8 cm (2.8-3.1 in) long. Distribution: San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, and Zacatecas, Mexico. Opuntia megacantha once posed a problem as a weed in Hawaii, and its juice has been used in candle making (Chapter 2, under Cacti as Weeds, and Other Uses of Cacti).
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