Pancake Prickly Pear


Scientific Name: Opuntia chlorotica

Common Name: Pancake Prickly Pear
Family: Cactaceae, Cactus Family

Duration: Perennial

Size: 3-8 ft. tall and almost as broad
Growth Form: Tree or shrub with spiny trunks to 11 inches long. PADS blue-green, obovate to circular. AREOLES 7-10 in a row diagonal across midpad, subcircular to elliptic with a basal ridge, .1-.2 in. long, .1 -.2 in. wide; wool tan, aging grayish white.

Leaves: SPINES absent or mostly in distal areoles to well distributed over entire pad, yellow, aging red-brown to blackish, straight or weakly curved, acicular, deflexed except some erect in pads' marginal areoles; larger spines usually accompanied by few straight to wavy bristle-spines. GLOCHIDS crowded in narrow marginal apical crescent, increasing in length toward base of areole, the subapical tuft absent or poorly developed, yellow, aging reddish brown, to .5 in. long.
Flower Color: Yellow sometimes redish blush near the base, fruits are red
Flowering Season: April to July, fruits in summer or fall.

Threatened/Endangered Information: Arizona: Opuntia Chlorotica is salvage restricted.

Comments: The pads of this prickly pear are almost perfectly round, giving rise to its common name. It is usually found growing on very steep hillsides in mountainous terrain and is widespread throughout much of the Southwest. The Pancake Prickly-pear is an erect shrub or small tree, and its areoles contain numerous yellow glochids and several golden spines. This prickly pear makes a very attractive ornamental.