Desert Prickly Pear, Opuntia phaeacantha

Desert Prickly Pear
Opuntia phaeacantha (= O. engelmanii)



Plant
9/99

Fruits
9/99

Flowers
5/15/00

Flowers
5/15/00

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Family: Cactaceae, Cactus Family
Perennial
Blooms in: Spring
Habitat Preferred: Desert, dry hillsides, almost ubiquitous in Verde Valley Area
Photo taken at: Peck's lake, 9/3/99
Bloom Color: Yellow to Yellow/Orange
Other Common Names: Engelmann Prickly Pear, Tuna, Nopal, Purple-fruit Prickly Pear
Origin: Native
Comments: A very common Prickly Pear locally, fruits are edible and very sweet, used to make jellies and candy. The fruit's juice can be used as a bright red dye. If you notice bites taken from the pads, that is usually the work of Javelina.
Further Reference & Sources: Andrew Cooper's Cactus Page; "A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona", Anne Orth Epple, 1995, Falcon Press
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