Opuntia pottsii Salm-Dyck
Family: Cactaceae
Pott's Prickly-Pear
[Opuntia macrorhiza var. pottsii (Salm-Dyck) L. Benson]
Opuntia pottsii image
Frankie Coburn  
Shrubs, forming clumps, to 0.4 m, often from tuberlike rootstocks. Stem segments not easily detached, dark green, cuneate-obovate to commonly rhombic, 5-20 × 4-8 cm, fleshy but firm; areoles 4-6(-8) per diagonal row across midstem segment, oval to subcircular, 2-4 mm diam.; wool tan. Spines (0-)1-6 per areole, usually in distal 40% of stem segment, gray-white to red-brown, erect or reflexed, terete or proximal ones flattened, sometimes spirally twisted, longest to 60 mm, very slender, 0.2 mm diam. Glochids well developed in adaxial tuft , yellow or tan to brown-red, aging dull brown, to 6 mm. Flowers: inner tepals red throughout or with red basal portions, 25-35 mm; filaments pale yellow; anthers yellow; style whitish; stigma lobes cream to yellow. Fruits green to yellowish to dull red, long stipitate, elongate-obovoid, 25-40 × 15-40 mm, fleshy, base not narrowed, glabrous, spineless or nearly so; umbilicus deep; areoles 14-26. Seeds tan to gray, subcircular, 4-5 mm, thickish, warped; girdle protruding to 0.5 mm. 2n = 44. Flowering late spring-early summer (May-Jul). Plains, hills, sandy or loamy soils; 900-1900 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico (Chihuahua). Plants of Opuntia pottsii that are intermediate morphologically to O. macrorhiza are known in Arizona.

FNA 2015
Common Name: twistspine pricklypear Duration: Perennial General: Shrub forming clumps, to 0.4 m, often from tuberlike rootstocks; stem segments not easily detached, dark green, cuneate-obovate to commonly rhombic, 5-20 4-8 cm, fleshy but firm; areoles 4-6(-8) per diagonal row across midstem segment, oval to subcircular, 2-4 mm diam.; wool tan. Spines: (0-)1-6 per areole, usually in distal 40% of stem segment, gray-white to red-brown, erect or reflexed, terete or proximal ones flattened, sometimes spirally twisted, longest to 60 mm, very slender, 0.2 mm diam; glochids well developed in adaxial tuft , yellow or tan to brown-red, aging dull brown, to 6 mm. Flowers: Inner tepals red throughout or with red basal portions, 25-35 mm; filaments pale yellow; anthers yellow; style whitish; stigma lobes cream to yellow. Fruits: Green to yellowish to dull red, long stipitate, elongate-obovoid, 25-40 15-40 mm, fleshy, base not narrowed, glabrous, spineless or nearly so; umbilicus deep; areoles 14-26; seeds tan to gray, subcircular, 4-5 mm, thickish, warped; girdle protruding to Ecology: Found in plains, hills, sandy or loamy soils from 2953 -6233 ft ( 900-1900 m), flowers May-Jul. Distribution: Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico (Chihuahua). Notes: A low-growing plant distinguished by its small pads, often with cross wrinkles, spines mostly on the upper half of pads and yellowish to peach tepals. It emerges from a thick tuberous root. Plants that are intimidate with Opuntia macrorhiza are known in Arizona. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Opuntia from ancient root puncti for prickled, pottsii is named for Synonyms: Opuntia macrorhiza var. pottsii Editor: FSCoburn 2015
PLANT: Clump-formers, to 35 cm tall, often from tuber-like rootstocks. PADS: green, glabrous, usually glaucous, fleshy, not disarticulating, cuneate-obovate to commonly rhombic, 5-20 cm long, 4-8 cm broad. AREOLES: 5-7(-8) in diagonal row across mid-pad, oval to subcircular, 2-4 mm in diameter; wool tan. SPINES: mostly in distal 40% of pad, gray-white to red-brown, erect or reflexed, (0-)1-6 per areole, straight, slender (0.25 mm diam. near base), flexible, terete or lower ones flattened, the largest 2-6 cm long. GLOCHIDS: yellowish, tan to red-brown, aging brown, in dense apical tuft, to 6 mm long. FLOWERS: inner tepals ± red to rose; filaments pale yellow, style white; fresh stigmas yellow. FRUITS: green to yellowish, fleshy, elongate-obovoid, long-stipitate, spineless, 2.5-4 cm long, 1.5-2.8 cm in diameter; areoles 12-26. SEEDS: tan, subcircular, 4-5 mm in diameter, thickish, warped; girdle broad, protruding to 0.5 mm. 2n = 44. NOTES: Sandy to loamy soils of grassy plains and hills; Cochise, Pinal cos.; 900-1850 m (2900-6000 ft.); May-Jul; NM, TX; Mex.: Chih. Hybridizes with Opuntia macrorhiza in se AZ. REFERENCES: Pinkava, Donald J. 2003. Cactaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 35(2).
Opuntia pottsii image
Frankie Coburn  
Opuntia pottsii image
Patrick Alexander  
Opuntia pottsii image
Susan Holiday  
Opuntia pottsii image
Frankie Coburn  
Opuntia pottsii image
Liz Makings  
Opuntia pottsii image
Liz Makings  
Opuntia pottsii image
Frankie Coburn  
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image
Opuntia pottsii image