Opuntia blakeana

Opuntia blakeana
Opuntia blakeana

Rose, Contributions from the U.S. National Herbarium 12: 402, 1909

Holotype; Isotype; IsotypeHerbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium

Original Description

What is Opuntia blakeana?

Opuntia blakeana is a small, low, spreading, Sonoran Desert prickly pear cactus.


The cladodes of O. blakeana are typically dark green but may have brown or purple coloration around the areoles. Plants are low and spreading, sometimes widely. They rarely reach 60 cm and are often shorter from prostrate-ascending branches. Short erect branches rise from spreading branches. Old branches may trail on the ground. Cladodes are 1-1.5 dm and longish obovate; they may be purplish at the areoles. The spines are short, and light- or dark brown, or tan. Often there are 2-3 spines per areole. When present, the dark-brown spines create a handsome Opuntia.

The flowers are yellow and often reddish in the center.

Ploidy is unknown. 

Other Notes

The plants have limited similarity with O. camanchica, and the flowers and fruits are similar to those of O. phaeacantha.

This prickly pear occurs in the greater Tucson, Arizona area and probably throughout southern Arizona and adjacent northern Mexico. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.