Small, Journal of the New York Botanical Garden 20: 35, 1919
Opuntia zebrina is a medium-sized plant of the Florida Keys. It is named “zebrina” because it has spines that are banded yellow(tan) and dark brown. There are some similarities with O. dillenii, but the plants are smaller and more cold sensitive. Also, the banded spines are unique to O. zebrina, whereas O. dillenii spines are generally solid yellow. Additionally, O. zebrina often has fewer spines than O. dillenii, sometimes having only 1 at surface areoles and 2-3 on edges (see herbarium sample above). Areoles are raised as in O. dillenii. Perhaps O. zebrina is merely a variant of O. dillenii. Like many plants of the Florida Keys, O. zebrina is threatened by loss of habitat. Read the original description.