Engelmann, Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 13(9): 309, 1911
Opuntia cyclodes is a little-studied prickly pear from NM. It was originally described as a variety of O. engelmannii; however, the two opuntias are visually distinct and intermediates are not found. Cladodes are typically circular, 15-20 cm across in this Opuntia. Plants are 12 to 20 cm tall and sprawling. More than half or almost all areoles may have spines; often there is a single long spine sweeping down from the areole that may be accompanied by 1 or 2 smaller spines; however, some pads of this Opuntia have multiple spines in areoles. The current year’s spines are essentially always yellow or straw colored but may darken towards the base. O. cyclodes is found irregularly over much of eastern NM, and in the El Paso, TX area as well. The authors have observed this Opuntia in rocky, mountainous locations (eg, Villanueva State Park, NM) and in flat, sandy areas (eg, Conchas Lake State Park, NM). The type locality is “the upper Pecos” of NM. See the original citation.