Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw.
Family: Cactaceae
brittle prickly-pear, fragile prickly-pear, little prickly-pear
[Cactus fragilis Nutt.,  more...]
Opuntia fragilis image
Charles R. Bomar  
Opuntia fragilis image
Charles R. Bomar  
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 seed drawing
Habitat: dry; prairies
Conservation Status: Threatened
Opuntia fragilis image
Charles R. Bomar  
Opuntia fragilis image
Derek Anderson  
Opuntia fragilis image
Aaron_Carlson  
Opuntia fragilis image
Aaron Carlson  
Opuntia fragilis image
Opuntia fragilis image
Hugh H. Iltis  
Opuntia fragilis image
Derek Anderson  
Opuntia fragilis image
Charles R. Bomar