Pancake Prickly Pear
Dollar-joint Pricklypear

Opuntia chlorotica

Opuntia chlorotica photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in the Wickenburg Mountains, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA. The image is hosted at higher resolution on the Wikimedia Project.

Narnia bug on Opuntia chlorotica photo © by Michael Plagens

SHRUB:This prickly pear usually grows upright from a single stem/trunk and exceptional specimens can reach 2 meters tall.

RANGE: A robust prickly pear of mid to upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert. Also ranging into the Mohave and Chihuahuan Deserts.

SPINES: Many specimens in the Sonoran Desert have few larger spines. Instead, the areoles are beset with great numbers of smaller glochids that are extremely sharp and painfull.

JOINTS: The flattened stem joints are nearly circular in outline and about 50 cm in dia.

FRUIT: Mature fruit is red but smaller and less juicy that other prickly pears.

FLOWERS: Numerous petals are yellow.

Cactaceae -- Cactus Family

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Ripe fruit of Opuntia chlorotica photo © by Michael Plagens

Vulture Mountains sw of Wickenburg, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. Look closely and see two nymphs of the leaf-footed bug Narnia, which penetrate the fruit with a long proboscis to feed upon the developing seeds.

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 2 March 2009,
updated 24 Aug. 2016.