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Opuntia chlorotica

Opuntia chlorotica Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow

Clock-face Prickly-pear, Dollarjoint Pricklypear, Pancake Pear, Silver-dollar Cactus

Cactaceae (Cactus Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Clock-face prickly-pear or pancake pear is an erect, tree-like cactus, 3-8 ft. tall and almost as broad, with a stout trunk and ascending branches. Joints are yellow-green and flat. The flowers are yellow and followed by fleshy, purple-tinged fruit.

The pads of this prickly pear are almost perfectly round, giving rise to its common name. It is usually found growing on very steep hillsides in mountainous terrain and is widespread throughout much of the Southwest. The Pancake Prickly-pear is an erect shrub or small tree, and its areoles contain numerous yellow glochids and several golden spines. This prickly pear makes a very attractive ornamental. It blooms in May.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Size Notes: Up to 3ft or more tall. The joints are 4 3/4-8in long and 4 3/4-6 1/3in broad.
Flower: Flowers 2 inches long
Size Class: 1-3 ft. , 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Diurnal


USA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , UT
Native Distribution: S.w. UT to s. CA, s. to NM & Baja CA & Sonora, Mexico
Native Habitat: Mesas; dry, rocky desert walls

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Minimum temperature 45F

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 1140 - Cacti (1991) Clive Innes and Charles Glass

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Opuntia chlorotica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Opuntia chlorotica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Opuntia chlorotica


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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