Opuntia chlorotica gosseliniana

Opuntia chlorotica gosseliniana
Opuntia chlorotica gosseliniana

(Weber) Ferguson, Cactus and Succulent Journal (U.S.) 60: 159, 1988

Isotype; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium

What is Opuntia chlorotica gosseliniana?

O. chlorotica gosseliniana is one of three varieties: chlorotica, santa-rita, and gosseliniana within the O. chlorotica complex as described by Ferguson (1988)

Details

These prickly pear cacti may reach 1 m tall (usually shorter), and are almost always tinted with pink or purple or bluish purple. Like O. chlorotica chlorotica, O. chlorotica gosseliniana has needle-like spines on older trunks and branches. Unlike O. chlorotica chlorotica, O. chlorotica gosseliniana can form multiple ascending branches. This Opuntia variety may have spines in most areoles, only in upper areoles, or in none at all.  The slender spines vary from relatively short and stiff to long and flexible, up to 10 cm.  Additionally, the spine color varies from cream to bright yellow and through shades of orange- and reddish-brown to nearly black. 

Flowers are generally yellow from bluntly pointed buds. The stigma lobes are generally pale. Flowers are 5-7.5 cm across. Fruit is elliptical to cyclindrical. This variety has smaller and relatively more slender fruit than vars chlorotica and santa-rita.

See the original description. O. chlorotica gosseliniana is diploid. 

This prickly pear is native to Mexico, and it barely reaches into the United States in far southern Arizona on land of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Thus is is a very uncommon Opuntia in the United States.  

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