Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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CACTACEAE

Opuntia mesacantha Rafinesque ssp. mesacantha . Prickly-pear. Phen: Apr-Jun; Jun-May. Hab: Granite outcrops, coastal dunes and scrub, longleaf pine sandhills, pine forests in sandy soils, Gulf Coast barrier Islands (AL, FL panhandle, MS), riverine sands. Dist: S. NJ south to sc. GA, c. AL, c. and n. MS, and se. TN; disjunct in FL Panhandle, s. AL, s. MS; disjunct in w. LA. Throughout the southern Piedmont, Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, but absent from the FL peninsula forming a disjunction between the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, as in O. drummondii, with which this subspecies is often associated, at least along the coast and in certain Piedmont populations on granite. See McAvoy (2021) for details of DE occurrence.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Syn: = K4, Majure et al (2017); < Opuntia compressa – RAB; < Opuntia compressa var. compressa – G; < Opuntia humifusa – C, F, Fl5, K2, Pa, Tn, W, WH3; > Opuntia humifusa – Ward (2009e); < Opuntia humifusa var. humifusa – FNA4, FNA4, K1, Va, Benson (1982), Doyle (1990); > Opuntia pollardii – G, S, Ward (2009e)

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image of plant© Alan M. Cressler [image randomly selected]
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