Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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CACTACEAE

Opuntia stricta (Haworth) Haworth var. stricta . Coastal Prickly Pear, Shell Midden Prickly-pear. Phen: Apr-Jun; Aug-Dec (-Feb). Hab: Coastal dunes and coastal scrub, shell middens in salt marshes of the Gulf Coast, occasionally in water-logged saline soils of mangroves. Dist: Se. NC (reports from VA are based on a misidentification) south to s. FL, west to e. LA.

ID notes: This species forms an erect or ascending shrub from 1-2 (-3) m tall, which are generally highly branching. The gray-green, dull color of the pads, yellow spines, and dark purple fruit can help distinguish this species from O. austrina, with which it is sometimes associated on the FL Atlantic Coast.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Syn: = K1, K4, Tx, Benson (1982), Doyle (1990), Ward (2009e); < Opuntia stricta – Fl5, FNA4, K3, WH3; >< Opuntia stricta – S; > Opuntia tunoidea – S

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