(Paper Spine Cactus, Spruce Cone Cactus)
This curious Argentine cactus has fragile erect stems composed of cone-shaped segments. The stems resemble a string of beads. Prominent tubercules and clusters of silvery spines are spirally arranged along the segments. Some forms lack spines. The stems fragment readily if jostled or bumped. A shy bloomer, this cactus sometimes produces white to pinkish, cup-shaped flowers in spring or early summer. The fruits that follow are barrel shaped, dry-fleshed, and very thin walled.
This plant prospers...
(Santa Fe Giant Pricklypear)
A fascinating Galapagos Islands endemic that varies markedly from island to island, this pricklypear cactus ranges in size from a low shrub to a thick-trunked, two-story-tall "tree." Stems composed of large rounded yellow green to blue green pads are borne either in shrubby clumps or along tree-like branches. The stems of tree-like forms are often pendent, lending a weeping character, and their trunks typically have striking mahogany-red "bark." Stem segments are dotted with geometrically arranged...
James H. Schutte
(Spineless pricklypear, Tigertongue)
This handsome, shrubby, wide-spreading pricklypear resembles Opuntia ficus-indica - but without the spines. A presumed native of Mexico, it is known only in cultivation in the United States. The oval, blue-green, paddle-shaped stem segments are dotted with spirally arranged areoles. Although the areoles lack spines, they are well armed with glochids (barbed hair-like bristles) that readily penetrate skin or clothing. Large, cup-shaped, deep yellow flowers appear on the outermost stem segments...
James H. Schutte
(Texas Cactus Apple)
Few cacti show greater variability than Opuntia engelmannii, of which at least four forms are botanically recognized. A large, upright, spreading plant with round, flattened, spiny pads, variety lindheimeri is native from the south-central and southwestern United States into northern Mexico. It is naturalized in South Africa, where it is considered an noxious weed. The pads (which resemble large succulent leaves but in fact are swollen stem segments) are sometimes broader than long,and...
Few cacti show greater variability than Opuntia engelmannii, of which at least four forms are botanically recognized. A large, upright, spreading plant dubbed cow’s tongue for its narrowly oval pads, variety linguiformis is thought to be native to central Texas, although it is widely planted and naturalized in the south-central and southwestern United States. The pads (which resemble large succulent leaves but in fact are swollen stem segments) sometimes measure more than a meter...
(Barbary Fig, Pricklypear, Tuna Cactus)
The source of the supermarket prickly pear, this cactus bears strikingly beautiful bowl-shaped flowers and vivid red-purple fruit atop tall stems with round paddle-like segments. Plants grow to the size of a small tree or large shrub, usually with a woody "trunk." A long-cultivated plant that probably derives from one or more Mexican Opuntia species, Indian fig has naturalized in many other parts of the world including California, where it was introduced to missions as a living fence and...
Native from the central and western United States all the way to central Canada, this pricklypear dispels the myth that cacti are only for warm climates. It is a low, mat-forming species bearing small, cylindrical or flattened, spiny pads that are specially adapted to survive beneath snow or dead prairie grass. It is also adapted to alpine conditions and is often found growing on upland, rocky outcrops.
Although they appear to be succulent leaves, the pads are in fact swollen stem segments...
Native from the central and western United States all the way to central Canada, brittle pricklypear dispels the myth that cacti are only for warm climates. The cultivar 'Frankfurt' forms dense compact clumps of small, chubby, oval to cylindrical pads. In late spring and early summer it bears lemon-yellow flowers that fade to peach.
Brittle pricklypear is a low, mat-forming species bearing small, cylindrical or flattened, spiny pads that are specially adapted to survive beneath snow or dead...