All Floras      Advanced Search
FNA Vol. 4 Page 126, 128, 134, 135, 136, 139, 141 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Cactaceae | Opuntia

12. Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck ex Engelmann, Boston J. Nat. Hist. 6: 207. 1850 (as engelmanni).

Engelmann’s pricklypear, cactus apple

Shrubs or trees, with short trunk , spreading to sometimes de-cumbent, 1-3 m. Stem segments not disarticulating, yellow-green to blue-green, flattened, circular to obovate to rhombic, or apex tapering, elongate, 15-40(-120) × 10-40 cm, ± tuberculate, gla-brous, often glaucous; areoles 5-8 per diagonal row across mid-stem segments, evenly distributed on stem segment to absent, subcircular to obovate, 4-7 × 4-6 mm; wool tawny, aging blackish. Spines (0-)1-6(-12) per areole, white to yellow, usually red to dark brown at extreme bases, aging gray to ± black, subulate, straight to curved, flattened to angular at least near base, the longest spreading to strongly reflexed, 10-30(-50) mm. Glochids widely spaced, sparse in crescent at adaxial edge, encircling areole or nearly so, and scattered in subapical tuft, yellow to red-brown, aging gray to blackish, of irregular lengths, to 10 mm. Flowers: inner tepals uniformly yellow to buff, sometimes orange to pink to red (rarely whitish), 30-40 mm; filaments, anthers, and style whitish to cream; stigma lobes yellow-green to green. Fruits dark red to purple throughout, sometimes stipitate, ovate-elongate to barrel-shaped, 35-90 × 20-40 mm, juicy (bleeding and staining), glabrous, spineless; areoles 20-32 usually toward apex. Seeds tan to grayish, subcircular to deltoid, flattened, 2.5-6 × 2-5 mm; girdle protruding 0.3-0.5 mm.

Varieties 5 (5 in the flora): sc and sw United States, n Mexico.

The basal portions of stems seedlings of Opuntia engelmannii bear long hairlike spines.

The name Opuntia dillei Griffiths has been used for a spineless or nearly spineless morphotype of O. engelmannii.

1 Stem segments becoming very elongate, 2+ times longer than wide, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, often falcate   12b var. linguiformis
+ Stem segments to 1.5 times longer than wide, commonly circular to obovate to rhomboid   (2)
2 (1) Spines chalky white, yellow when wetted, with dark red-brown extreme bases.   12a var. engelmannii
+ Spines pale to dark yellow, not chalky white, at times with red-brown extreme bases   (3)
3 (2) Stem segments with spines straight or slightly curving, spreading   12c var. lindheim
+ Stem segments with spines strongly deflexed or arching downward near bases   (4)
4 (3) Spines arching downward near bases; sc Ari- zona   12d var. flavispi
+ Spines strongly deflexed; s Texas.   12e var. flexispi


Related Objects  
  • Distribution Map
  • Map

     |  eFlora Home |  People Search  |  Help  |  ActKey  |  Hu Cards  |  Glossary  |