Opuntia spinosibacca

(Spiny-fruit Prickly Pear)


Opuntia spinosibacca, Ernst Tinaja, Big Bend National Park 3350


Opuntia spinosibacca, Ernst Tinaja, Big Bend National Park 3345

Scientific Name Opuntia spinosibacca (Opuntia X spinosibacca) USDA PLANTS Symbol OPSP7
Common Name Spiny-fruit Prickly Pear ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 195335
Family Cactaceae (Cactus) Flora of North America Ref. Click Here
Description Habitat: Hot, dry limestone soils of slopes and canyons of eastern portion of Big Bend National Park, 1600 to 2300 ft.
Plant: Upright, compact plants 3 to 5 feet tall.
Pads & Spines: Light green to yellowish green pads 4 to 8 inches long and up to 6 inches wide; often purple near areoles. Spines white with red base, becoming dark red-brown with pale tips, aging gray, 3/4 to 2-3/4 inches long; upper areoles with 4 to 8, lower with one or more.
Inflorescence: Yellow flowers with red centers, 2 to 2-3/4 inches across; pale green to cream-colored filaments, anthers pale yellow, style white to pinkish, stigma lobes pale green to cream-yellow.
Bloom Period: March to May.
Fruit: Ovoid to obconic, greenish-yellow becoming tan to yellowish or reddish; 1 to 1-3/4 inches long, 1/2 to 1 inch across; many spines mostly around the rim, reddish brown and 1-inch long.
References: “Cacti of Texas” by Powell, Weedin and Powell and Flora of North America.
Notes: Previously identified as O. X spinosibacca, a hybrid of O. aureispina and O. phaeacantha.
BONAP Distribution Map

Opuntia X spinosibaca

Map Color Key
Texas Status:
Endemic to small region along eastern edge of Big Bend National Park

Banner photo of Castilleja indivisa and Lupinus ssp. taken along FM 1323 north of Johnson City, Blanco County

© Tom Lebsack 2024