Opuntia atrispina


Rep. (Annual) Missouri Bot. Gard. 21: 172, plate 26 (lower). 1910.

Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 137. Mentioned on page 128.

Shrubs, erect to sprawling, 0.5–1 m. Stem segments not easily detached, green, flattened, obovate to circular, 10–15 × 7.5–12 cm, nearly smooth, glabrous; areoles 5–7 per diagonal row across midstem segment, ovate or oblong to obovate, 3–5 mm; wool tan. Spines 4–7 per areole, mostly in distal areoles, black to red-brown with conspicuous brown to yellow tips, fading gray; longer spines ascending, usually straight, acicular, terete, 25–35 mm; 1–2 smaller spines deflexed, chalky white, to 10 mm; 0–4 additional very small spines. Glochids in bushy crescent at adaxial edge of areole and dense subapical tuft, yellow to brown, aging blackish, of unequal lengths, to 5 mm. Flowers: inner tepals yellow throughout, quickly fading to apricot, 25–30 mm; filaments and anthers yellow; style whitish; stigma lobes greenish yellow to yellow. Fruits red-purple, green-yellow interior, spheric-obovoid to pyriform, 15–20 × 12 mm, fleshy, glabrous, spineless; areoles 20–25. Seeds tan to gray, subcircular, 3–4 mm diam; girdle narrowly protruding. 2n = 22.

Phenology: Flowering spring.
Habitat: Grasslands, shrublands, limestone hills
Elevation: 400-700 m


Opuntia atrispina has been reported from Coahuila, Mexico (H. Bravo-H. and H. Sánchez-M. 1978–1991, vol. 1), but has not been confirmed by the author.

Selected References


Lower Taxa