Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii

Common names: Engelmann’s pricklypear
Illustrated
Synonyms: Opuntia dillei Griffiths Opuntia discata Griffiths Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 135. Mentioned on page 134.

Stem segments circular to obovate to rhombic, 20–40 × 17–30 cm, to 1.5 times longer than wide. Spines (0–)1–5(–12) per areole, absent or at most areoles, chalky white, yellow when wetted, aging gray to black, usually with red-brown extreme bases, longest 20–50(–75) mm. 2n = 66.


Phenology: Flowering spring (Apr–Jul).
Habitat: Deserts, grasslands, woodlands, plains, sandy soils to rocky hillsides, lower to midslopes of mountains
Elevation: 300-2700 m

Distribution

V4 253-distribution-map.gif

Ariz., Calif., Nev., N.Mex., Tex., Utah, Mexico.

Discussion

In Arizona, California, and New Mexico, Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii hybridizes with O. phaeacantha yielding numerous named and unnamed hexaploid forms, including O. wootonii Griffiths; the various intermediates have 2n = 66. Hybrid swarms occur in both Zion and Grand Canyon national parks; these plants were perhaps brought in to the parks by native peoples as a food source and they are associated with agaves also believed to have been imported.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

Donald J. Pinkava +
Salm-Dyck ex Engelmann +
Engelmann’s pricklypear +
Ariz. +, Calif. +, Nev. +, N.Mex. +, Tex. +, Utah +  and Mexico. +
300-2700 m +
Deserts, grasslands, woodlands, plains, sandy soils to rocky hillsides, lower to midslopes of mountains +
Flowering spring (Apr–Jul). +
Boston J. Nat. Hist. +
Illustrated +
Opuntia dillei +, Opuntia discata +  and Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata +
Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii +
Opuntia engelmannii +
variety +