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Opuntia photo

Opuntia and related species (= opuntiads) are unique cacti with unusual shapes and beautiful flowers. Common in parts of the United States and Mexico; they also occur throughout most of the Americas. There are over 50 species of opuntiads in the United States and many more in Mexico. Opuntia Web describes opuntias of the United States. Cholla Web is our sister Website, and it describes other opuntiads of the USA. Of the many opuntias in the United States, some have been forgotten by time. Thus, names fall by the wayside. Some opuntias look superficially alike and only close inspection can tell them apart. Thus, casual observation might indicate one species where there are actually two. We use historical records along with field studies to identify them, their differences, and their similarities. Moreover, there are still undescribed species and we will add them to the Website as they are discovered. Opuntia hybrids are known in nature and gardens, and we exclude these from Opuntia Web. Our goal is to present information about Opuntia species growing in the wild.