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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii
Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck ex Engelm. var. engelmannii
Cactus apple, Prickly pear
Synonym(s): Opuntia dillei, Opuntia discata, Opuntia lindheimeri var. tricolor, Opuntia megacarpa, Opuntia microcarpa, Opuntia occidentalis var. megacarpa, Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata, Opuntia tardospina, Opuntia tricolor, Opuntia ×subarmata
USDA Symbol: opene
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
This is perhaps the most abundant prickly pear in West Texas, and one of the most attractive. The masses of yellow to orange flowers it produces will bring one to a stop, no matter how often they are encountered. The plant itself is sometimes 8 feet across and almost as tall. The fruits, called tuna, are up to 2 1/2 inches long with a deep maroon color that makes the plant attractive after the flowers are gone (248).
The species and variety of this plant are named for George Engelmann (1809-1884) who was born in Germany and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, as a young man. He was a physician and botanist, describing especially North American Abies (Firs), Agaves, Cactus (for which he described more than 108 species), Cuscuta (Dodder), Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family), Juncus (Rushes), Juniperus (“Cedar”), Pinus (Pines), Vitis (Grapes), and Yuccas. When he died much of his collection went to Missouri Botanical Garden.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam Clay
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
Record Last Modified: 2008-08-27
Research By: TWC Staff