PRICKLYPEAR, Opuntia spp.
Mill. Perennial, reproducing by stems and seeds. Stems flat,
fleshy, covered with spines several inches in length, rooting freely at
the joints. May be prostrate to erect and 3 feet (90 cm) or more tall.
Flowers are several inches across, bright yellow, sometimes with
red centers. Fruits somewhat pear-shaped, fleshy to dry and spiny,
filled with many hard seeds. Seeds about 3/16 inch (4.5 mm) in diameter,
flattened. Found in the drier sandier soils but not generally troublesome
except on overgrazed rangelands or pastures. Variable in form; several
similar species are found in the area.