birdandhike.com logo
Home | Vegetation | Vegetation Groups | Cactus
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Cactus Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia erinacea var. ursina)
Medium-sized pads with long spines (Arrow Canyon)

General: Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) is a low-growing cactus with broad, thin stem segments (pads). The pads are medium-sized for a pricklypear (to about 5-inches long by 3-inches wide). The spines are sparse to dense, short to long (to 6 inches, wavy, and flowing). The long, flowing spines sometimes completely obscure the pads.

Grizzlybear Cactus is a locally common (uncommon overall, but can be abundant in certain areas) component of vegetation communities on well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils along washes, canyons, and on upper bajadas and moderate slopes into the lower mountains in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zone.

Around Las Vegas, this cactus is found at middle elevations in the mountains, making it difficult to find without a hike. A few can be found near Willow Springs at Red Rock Canyon NCA (Petroglyph Wall Trail).

Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia erinacea var. ursina)
Long spines obscure pads (Arrow Canyon Wilderness)

Family: Cactus (Cactaceae).

Other Names: Opuntia erinacea var. ursina.

Plant Form: Upright shrub spreading from the ground.

Height: To about 18-inches tall.

Trunk: None.

Stems: Divided into segments; flat and broad (pancake shaped). To about 5-inches long and 3-inches wide.

Stem Surface: Smooth.

Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia erinacea var. ursina)
Spines long, gray, and wavy (Arrow Canyon Wilderness)

Spines: Spines 4 to 24 per areole, in all areoles; to about 6-inches long (variable).

Glochids: Present.

Flowers: Blooms late spring and early summer. Inflorescence: Solitary from upper edge of pads. Flower: yellow to magenta, about 2-inches diameter; filaments white, style white, stigma green.

Fruit: Spiny.

Seeds:

Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia erinacea var. ursina)
Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes in the mountains.

Distribution: Southern California to Utah and Arizona

Elevation: 3,000 to 7,000 feet.

Comments:

Opuntia polyacantha Opuntia polyacantha
Opuntia polyacantha Opuntia polyacantha
Opuntia polyacantha
Spent flower and developing fruit
Opuntia polyacantha
Spent flower and developing fruit
Opuntia polyacantha Opuntia polyacantha
Opuntia polyacantha Opuntia polyacantha
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia erinacea var. ursina)
That's one very long spine sticking straight up
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
That's one very long spine sticking straight up
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)
Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea) Grizzlybear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 170922

All Cactus Plant Species Index Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads