Opuntia sanguinicola

Griffiths, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 27: 26, 1914

Isotype; Herbarium


Opuntia sanguinicola resembles a gracile form of O. gilvescens. However, O. sanguinicola is a distinct species that prefers deep soils (limestone-derived) as opposed to the rocky soils preferred by O. gilvescens. O. sanguinicola is yet another yellow-flowered Opuntia overlooked by most and, if seen, assumed to be O. phaeacantha or O. macrorhiza.  See the original description.

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Plants are not uncommon in central TX but are difficult to find in winter because they tend to fall over and hide in last season’s grass. Cladodes may be violet-green in winter. Glochids are reddish when new but gray, tan, or white-gray with age. Spines are often restricted to the sides and upper 1/4 of cladodes. Areoles have 0-2 spines, mostly less than one inch in length; the smaller spine may sweep downwards towards last years growth. Spination varies with older spines being gray or gray at the tips and brown at the base, and newer spines yellow changing to red-brown at the base; a few plants have darker spines.

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