Opuntia pusilla

(Haworth) Haworth

Syn. Pl. Succ., 195. 1812.

Common names: Sandbur pricklypear
Basionym: Cactus pusillus Haworth Misc. Nat., 188. 1803
Synonyms: Opuntia drummondii Graham Opuntia tracyi Britton
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 130. Mentioned on page 126.

Shrubs, creeping, often forming mats, trailing, to 0.1 m. Stem segments easily detached, green, purplish red under stress, flattened, elliptic to linear, sometimes subcylindric (to subspheric), 2.5–5(–8) × 1.2–2.5 cm, tuberculate, glabrous; areoles 2–5 per diagonal row across midstem segment, subcircular, 2–3 mm diam.; wool tan to gray. Spines (0–)1–2(–4) per areole, in distal 3/4 of stem segment areoles (to nearly spineless), porrect to spreading, red-brown, aging gray, stout, straight, terete, to 30 mm, strongly barbed. Glochids in crescent at adaxial edge of areole, pale yellow, aging brown, to 3 mm, longest at areole apex. Flowers: inner tepals yellow throughout, 20–30 mm; filaments and anthers yellow; style and stigma lobes white. Fruits green becoming red-purple at late maturity, barrel-shaped, 18–30 × 12–20 mm, fleshy, glabrous, spineless; areoles 8–16. Seeds tan, subcircular, flattened, 4–6 mm diam.; girdle slightly protruding. 2n = 44.

Phenology: Flowering spring (Apr–May).
Habitat: Dune and pine scrub, primarily coastal, sandy openings, dunes, or rocky outcrops
Elevation: 0-100 m


V4 239-distribution-map.gif

Ala., Fla., Ga., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tex.


Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Opuntia pusilla"
Donald J. Pinkava +
(Haworth) Haworth +
Cactus pusillus +
Sandbur pricklypear +
Ala. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, Miss. +, N.C. +, S.C. +  and Tex. +
0-100 m +
Dune and pine scrub, primarily coastal, sandy openings, dunes, or rocky outcrops +
Flowering spring (Apr–May). +
Syn. Pl. Succ., +
Opuntia drummondii +  and Opuntia tracyi +
Opuntia pusilla +
species +