Etymology: Opuntia: Greek name used by Pliny for a different plant which grew around the town of Opus in Greece
Plants: prostrate/spreading, perennial, spiny shrub forming dense mats up to 20" wide; stems branched, the joints not very flat, somewhat swollen and easy to detach
Leaves: usually more than 2 spines together
Flowers: yellow to greenish, 7 or more-parted, 1 1/2"-2" wide; blooms May-July
Fruits: fleshy, wingless, greenish to red when fresh, drying to tan, inedible, seeds disc-like with irregular edges
Habitat: dry; prairies
Conservation Status: Threatened
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 6 WIS DNR-Bureau of Endangered Resources: Detailed information on Wisconsin listed species including state and federal status, photos, etc. Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"