Opuntia camanchica

Engelmann & Bigelow, Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 3: 293, 1856/1857

Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium (submitted as O. phaeacantha major); Herbarium (submitted as O. phaeacantha brunnea); Herbarium; Herbarium; HerbariumDrawing (Bigelow, J.M., The Botany of the Expedition, 1856, plate IX No. 1-5)


Opuntia camanchica is another plant often lumped into O. phaeacantha. The two are different taxa even through they are related. O. camanchica is a taller plant, sometimes reaching 18- to 24-inches tall. Upward branches may support 4 cladodes. It may spread to 3- or 4-ft across in a mound, or it may be more irregular and semi-prostrate and sprawling. Also, unlike O. phaeacantha, spines are often dark-brown or black but may be maroon or burgundy. Typically, the 1 to 4 major spines are stout and hatpin like and may be 1 1/2- to 2(3)-inches long. The spines stand out in all directions from the areoles. The areoles are relatively far apart and the pads are thickish by comparison with O. phaeacantha. The often circular-appearing cladodes and stout spines make O. camanchica distinct throughout its range even while spines can vary in coloration or length. O. camanchica grows throughout much of NM and western TX and is also found in AZ, CA, and UT. Read the original description. O. camanchica is hexaploid.

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