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Opuntia Garden

Opuntia come in a variety of sizes and shapes-from squat mounds to densely branched trees. No matter how unusual it looks, however, a cactus belongs to one of two groups: those with a basic column shape or those with multiple jointed stems.

Plants in the jointed group, called opuntia, are exhibited in this garden. Notice that some opuntias have cylindrical stems joints; these are the chollas (choy-az) and are now in the genus Cylindropuntia. The others, with flat, pad-shaped joints, are the prickly pears, sometimes called platyopuntias, and the short club chollas are in the genus Grusonia.

Opuntias have lovely flowers, but their seeds are usually sterile, so they rely on another means of propagation. Joints, blown off by strong wind or knocked off by a passing animal (or hiker!), take root where they fall. The new plants draw on stored nutrients and moisture until they are established.

Link to foxpaws article: Don’t Hug the Teddybear!

Botanical Name Common Name Family
Austrocylindropuntia subulata Eve’s Pin Cactus Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia arbuscula Pencil Cholla Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia bigelovii Jumping Cholla, Teddybear Cholla Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia cholla Cholla Pelona Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia fulgida Chain Fruit Cholla Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia kleiniae Candle Cholla, Klein’s Cholla Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis Desert Christmas Cactus Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia molesta Clavellina Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia versicolor Variously Colored Cholla, Staghorn Cholla Cactaceae
Nopalea sp. Cactaceae
Opuntia basilaris var. aurea Yellow Beavertail Cactaceae
Opuntia basilaris var. treleasei Bakersfield Beavertail Cactaceae
Opuntia ficus-indica Indian Fig Cactus, Nopal Cactaceae
Opuntia leucotricha Arboreescent Prickly Pear Cactaceae
Opuntia microdasys var. alba White Bunny Ears Cactaceae
Opuntia phaeacantha Brown-spined Prickly Pear Cactaceae
Opuntia quimilo Quimilo Cactaceae
Opuntia robusta Silver Dollar Prickly Pear Cactaceae
Opuntia santa-rita Santa Rita Prickly Pear Cactaceae
Opuntia sp. Prickly pear Cactaceae
Opuntia tomentosa Wooly Joint Prickly Pear Cactaceae
Opuntia violacea Purple Prickly Pear Cactaceae
Tephrocactus articulatus Potato Cactus Cactaceae
Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracantha Paper Spine Cactus Cactaceae
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