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Opuntia galapageia

Opuntia galapageia Hensl.

 

Galápagos Prickly Pear

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyCactaceaeSucculent (water-storing) plants, often spiny
GenusOpuntiaPrickly pears
SpeciesgalapageiaFrom the Galápagos Islands

About plant names...

This variety of prickly pear cactus is found in the Galápagos Islands, at elevations up to 4921' (1.5 km). Charles Darwin noticed that cactus finches preferred its fruits and flowers, dispersing its seeds. Doves and mockingbirds also eat the fruit. Tortoises and land animals eat the pads.

Plants: A shrubby or tree-like cactus. It may remain low and creeping, or become tree-like, with a woody trunk and reddish brown bark, reaching 8-16' (2.5-5 m) in height. Its habit, armament of joints, and character of its spines are all highly variable. It may form large, sprawling thickets. Stems are a series of fleshy pads up to 15" (37 cm) × 9" (22 cm), covered with evenly spaced clusters of 7 to 28 yellowish-white or brown spines. These spines are soft and flexible instead of rigid.

Flowers: Yellow flowers are up to 3" (8 cm) long.

Fruits: Called “prickly pears,” fruits are large, green, and fleshy. They are approximately ovoid, and usually contain multiple seeds.

Online References:

Opuntia galapageia on llifle.com

Opuntia galapageia on EOL: the Encyclopedia of Life

Opuntia galapageia on ARKive: Images of Life on Earth

Opuntia galapageia on Wikispecies

Opuntia galapageia on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species

Opuntia galapageia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 30 Jun 2017.

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Opuntia galapageia (Galápagos Prickly Pear)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm)

Opuntia galapageia (Galápagos Prickly Pear)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm)

Opuntia galapageia (Galápagos Prickly Pear)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)