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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Opuntia chlorotica - dollarjoint pricklypear

Other Common Names: pancake pricklypear, clock-face pricklypear, dollarjoint pricklypear, silver-dollar cactus
Plant Form: Cacti

Family: Cactaceae

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Plant Description

Origin: Native   Similar Species: O. santa-rita (not in Yavapai County)
General Desc: Erect, tree-like cactus, usually with a stout trunk and ascending branches consisting of nearly round pads.
Identification notes: An obvious trunk, y-shaped appearance, deflexed or appresed spines. Large cactus up to 8 feet tall.
Height: 3 to 8 feet     Width:


Habitat Description: Found growing on very steep hillsides in mountainous terrain, also on mesas and dry, rocky desert walls.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 2000 - 6000 feet


Color: Yellow     Flowering Period: May - Jun
Description: Flowers are 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 inches in diameter with petals about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide.


Stem Color: Yellow-green     Number of Stems: Single     Stem Shape: Pads     Stems Segmented: Y     Stem Surface: Smooth
Stem Description: The pads of this prickly pear are almost perfectly round, 4 to 8 inches, giving rise to its common name.

Areoles (structures unique to cacti, found on the stems, areas from which spines, flowers and fruits emerge)

Areole Description: Prominent areoles are 1/2 to 3/4 inch apart and contain a tuft of yellow wool, numerous yellow glochids and 3 to 7 spines, 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long. On the main stem areoles contain 15 to 40 spines radiating from the center and covering the whole stem.
Spine Color: Yellowish-brown     Spines Hooked: N    
Spine Description: Mostly straight but can be weakly curved.

Glochids: Y   (Glochids are minute barbed hairs or bristles)
Glochid Description: Crowded in narrow marginal crescent near the pad.


Fruit Color: Red   
Fruit Notes: Fleshy, reddish-purple fruit, 1 to 2 inches long, is not spiny.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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