Opuntia santa-rita

Common Name: Purple Prickly Pear Cactus, Santa Rita Prickly Pear
Oˊodham Name: [unknown]
Group: Cacti - Desert (upper), Desert Grassland

Opuntia santa-rita is the "Purple Prickly Pear" cactus growing in sandy and gravelly soils from below 3000 ft to 4000 ft in the upper Sonoran Desert and desert grassland. The pads become red or purple in times of stress like winter or summer drought. Brilliant yellow flowers contrast strongly with the strongly colored pads. A synonym is Opuntia violaceae var. santa-rita. Also see Opuntia engelmannii and Opuntia chlorotica.

entire plant
pads (July)
pads (June)
flowers (April)
vegetative bud
flower (May)

Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Subclass Caryophyllidae
Order Caryophyllales
Family Cactaceae - Cactus family
Genus Opuntia Mill. - pricklypear
Species Opuntia santa-rita (Griffiths & Hare) Rose - Santa Rita pricklypear
More Information
USDA Plant Profile and Map

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