Opuntia vaseyi

(J.M. Coulter) Britton & Rose, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 50: 532, 1908

Herbarium (holotype, deposited as O. magenta); Herbarium (lectotype, deposited as O. mesacantha vaseyi); Herbarium; Herbarium; Herbarium


Opuntia vaseyi is a low, spreading, bushy plant found “along and near the coast of southern California.” It often forms thickets 12 to 15-inches tall. The plant has variously been known by many names including: O. magenta, O. intricata, O. vaseyi var magenta, and O. rubiflora; it was even lumped into O. littoralis. When first described the taxon was named Opuntia mesacantha vaseyi. Many plants have pink-, red-, or magenta-colored flowers, but some plants have yellow flowers.  Britton and Rose pointed out that the type locality of Arizona must be presumed to be wrong because the plant is found only in Southern California. See the original citation. O. vaseyi is hexaploid.

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