Opuntia nemoralis

Opuntia nemoralis
Opuntia nemoralis

Griffiths, Monatsschrift fur Kakteenkunde 23: 133, 1913

Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium (with O. cespitosa); Herbarium; Herbarium (with O. cespitosa); Herbarium (with O. cespitosa); Herbarium; Herbarium

by Joe Shaw and Barry Snow

What is Opuntia nemoralis?

Opuntia nemoralis is a southern Midwest prickly pear that has been observed in saline prairies, sandhills, and shale outcrops in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.


Plants observed north of Lake Ouachita in Arkansas were glaucous/pruinose, especially in winter, whereas plants near Longview, Texas had purple areoles that were striking. Plants may sprawl to 1 m across and reach 30 cm tall. The cladodes are ovate to obovate, 4.5 cm wide by 9 cm long or smaller. Older cladodes are wrinkled. Glochids are yellow. 

Flowers are yellow with relatively few tepals. The fruit is small, about 17 mm thick and 32 mm long. Fruit pulp is slightly reddened. 

O. nemoralis is uncommonly encountered. O. nemoralis has been erroneously conflated with O. humifusa. It is different from O. humifusa although it is a member of that clade. See the original description. O. nemoralis is tetraploid.

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