Virginia Tech Dendrology

Engelmann's pricklypear Cactaceae Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck ex Engelm. Listen to the Latin symbol: OPEN3
Leaf: Reduced to a spine, 1 1/2 inches, 1-6 per areole, areoles 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Flower: Yellow to red, three inches, late spring to early summer, born along the edges of the joints.
Fruit: Barrel-shaped, fleshy, unarmed or armed with very short spines, yellow-green ripening to purple, to 3 inches, maturing late summer.
Twig: Segmented, each segment broad and flat, oval to round in shape, to 10 inches long and less than one inch thick, often described as a "beaver tail".
Form: Shrubby, to a height of 4 feet, forming wide-spreading clumps.
Looks like: Plains pricklypear - blind pricklypear
leaf flower fruit bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Opuntia engelmannii is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Engelmann's pricklypear.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson