(Anthony) Ferguson, Cactus and Succulent Journal (U.S.) 58(3): 124, 1986
What is Opuntia chisosensis?
Opuntia chisosensis is a prickly pear cactus that grows in the Big Bend region of Texas and adjacent Mexico where it occurs at higher elevations in wooded areas.
O. chisosensis is a medium-sized (to 1 m tall) prickly pear cactus. Ascending branches extend from a thick base. Cladodes are bluish-gray to green and circular to broadly obovate. There are 1-5 spines per areole in this Opuntia, spreading or deflexed, yellow to orange, tipped yellow (upper portion of plant), darkening with age, or dark red-brown (lower portion of plant). The spines are more or less acicular, 2 to 6 cm, terete or flattened near the base, and often curved. Spines generally occur in the upper portions of the cladodes. Glochids may partly encircle the areoles and are also in a poorly formed apical tuft.
Flowers on this Opuntia are 5-7 cm wide and yellowish or yellow-buff. The stigma is green above a yellow style; filaments are pale green. Pericarpel areoles are small and distant. Fruits are conspicuously small, especially when compared to other species in the Chisos Mountains. Fruits are reddish purple, ellipsoid to spherical, barrel-shaped, approximately 40 × 45 mm, juicy, with little tapering at the base (or not at all). Fruit areoles are spineless and clustered near the apex. Seeds are yellow to tan and approximately 4 × 3.5 mm. The protruding girdle is about 1 mm.
Its attractive yellow spines and make this an attractive garden plant. Additionally it is cold-hardy due to its mountain origins.