Opuntia vaseyi

Opuntia vaseyi
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

Details

Opuntia vaseyi is a low, spreading, bushy prickly pear cactus found “along and near the coast of southern California.” It often forms thickets 25 to 40 cm tall. This cactus 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 of the Opuntia plants have pink-, red-, or magenta-colored flowers, but some plants have yellow flowers. The cladodes have relatively large areoles and 2-3(4) reddish-brown spines. Spines may be 1.5 to 3 cm long. The fruit of this Opuntia is essentially spineless and about 5 cm long. Britton and Rose pointed out that the type locality of Arizona must be presumed to be wrong because the prickly pear is found only in Southern California. See the original citation. O. vaseyi is hexaploid.

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