blind pricklypear Cactaceae Opuntia rufida Engelm. Listen to the Latin symbol: OPRU3 Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Reduced to a spine or often without spines, if present the spines are 1/2 inch or less, with many spines per areole, areoles resembling reddish-brown hairy tufts, areoles 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Flower: Yellow to orange-red, three inches, spring, born along the edges of the joints.
Fruit: Rounded, fleshy, unarmed or armed with very short spines, yellow-green ripening to red, 1 inch, maturing late summer.
Twig: Segmented, each segment broad and flat, oval to round in shape, to 8 inches long and less than one inch thick, often described as a "beaver tail".
Form: Shrubby, to a height of 6 feet, forming wide-spreading clumps.

Looks like: Engelmann's pricklypear - Plains pricklypear
leaf flower bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Opuntia rufida is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting blind pricklypear.
External Links:
USDA Plants Database
Horticulture
© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
Virginia Tech Homepage CNRE FREC