Coast prickly-pear is a spreading to sprawling
perennial without a trunklike base that grows to 3' tall in clumps of
up to 9' in diameter. The flat pads are narrowly obovate sometimes
twice as long as wide with 4-11 spines per aureole. The spines
are not barbed, are generally straight, yellowish to white, brown at
the base, and nearly round in cross-section. The flowers have
pale yellow, overlapping, waxy petals and many stamens, and the edible
pear-shaped fruits are dark red to purplish and bristly. Coast
prickly-pear may be found at low elevations near the coast from Santa
Barbara to Baja, and occasionally as much as 15-40 miles inland, blooming
in May and June.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Opuntia
Pronunciation: oh-PUN-tee-a lit-or-AY-lis.
Click here for Botanical