Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences

Opuntia macrocentra Engelmann
(Purple Prickly Pear)

Family: Cactaceae

Status: Native

Opuntia violacea Engelmann ex B.D. Jackson
Opuntia violacea Engelmann var. castetteri L. Benson
Opuntia violacea Engelmann var. macrocentra (Engelmann) L. Benson

Opuntia macrocentra is a smaller Opuntia than Opuntia chlorotica and Opuntia engelmannii. It does not have a trunk as with Opuntia chlorotica or as large joints as Opuntia engelmanii. It has purple spines along the edges and a paucity of spines more centrally. Opuntia macrocentra is found in lower and middle elevations.
Please click on an image for a larger file.

Opuntia macrocentra, photo Russ Kleinman, Burro Mtns., Engineer Canyon, Sept. 10, 2005

Opuntia macrocentra, characteristic appearance, photo Russ Kleinman, Burro Mtns., WD Ranch Road near Engineer Canyon, March 1, 2010

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