O.woodsii is a unique, red-flowered, medium-sized Opuntia from southern Utah and northern Arizona.
O.woodsii is a medium-sized Opuntia, sedom reaching more than 50 cm in height. Nevertheless, it is not a small plant. It is typically a stiffly spreading or ascending bushy plant. However, it does grow low and spreads along the ground in cold winter climates. Cladodes may be round but are more often oval or obovate, narrowing toward the base. Areoles in the upper half of the cladodes have (1)2-4 whitish spines that may stand out from the surface. The white spines sometimes have brown bases extending halfway up the spine.
Flowers are salmon, pink, or even bright orange-red.
Ploidy is unknown.
O.woodsii has been proposed to be synonymous with numerous other prickly pears. It has even been proposed to be a pink- or red-flowered hybrid of various parents. But it is a distinct cactus. It is a self-reproducing species and is not a hybrid population. It reproduces true from seed.
O.woodsii grows in gravelly or rocky soils.
O.woodsii is an excellent garden plant due to its medium size, reddish flowers, and white spines. Some clones are exceptionally cold hardy.