Opuntia phaeacantha (*)
Opuntia phaeacantha Engelm.
* Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 4:52. 1849 (Pl. fendler.)
Opuntia phaeacantha is a species of prickly pear cactus known by the common names tulip prickly pear and desert prickly pear.
It is found across the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
Opuntia phaeacantha has a characteristic prickly pear appearance, with flattened green pads bearing wool and spines. The spines are brown, reddish-brown, or gray, and often over 3 centimeters in length. The flowers are usually bright yellow with reddish centers, and sometimes peach, pinkish or reddish overall. The edible fruits are red or purple with green flesh. The pads and fruit bear tiny glochids which can lodge in the skin and cause irritation. The plant forms dense but localized thickets. There are several varieties of this particular species, and it also hybridizes easily with other prickly pears, making identification sometimes tricky.
Older names for this species, and names for old species which are now considered variants of this species, include plateau prickly pear, brown-spined prickly pear, Mojave prickly pear, and Kingman prickly pear.
This plant, like other Opuntia species, is attacked by cactus moth.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License