Plains prickly pear (Opuntia macrorhiza)

plains prickly pear

Plains prickly pear (Opuntia macrorhiza) is one of only three cactus species found in Minnesota. It is diminutive, hugs the ground, and has flattened pads. It looks nothing like the other two cacti, brittle prickly pear and ball cactus. It is common on dry, rocky or sandy prairies, dunes, and lakeshores in the southwestern part of the state. Large, showy, bright yellow flowers appear from mid-June to July. They are replaced by fleshy, juicy, red fruits, which mature from mid-July to mid-September. The pads become wrinkled with the approach of winter.

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