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.