Wild Florida Photo - Opuntia pollardii

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Opuntia pollardii



Synonym: Opuntia humifusa, Opuntia austrina

Florida native


This cactus occurs in coastal areas at elevations of less than 30m (100 ft.). The range is limited to Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.
The species Opuntia pollardii was first described by John Kunkel Small in 1908 and has been usually considered the same species as O. humifusa. More recently botanists, including Lucas Majure of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ., have supported returning O. pollardii as a distinct species.
This species was named for Charles Louis Pollard (1872-1945), who in 1896 while Assistant Curator for the United States National Museum collected the specimen that became the O. pollardii isotype in Harrison County (near Biloxi), Mississippi. Pollard was author of The Families of Flowering Plants, a supplement to The Plant World, Volumes II, IV & V (1900-1902). In that publication he described the characteristics of typical cactus "... the great majority have swollen, spherical, jointed or angular stems, with practically no leaves whatever, the latter being represented by minute spines and their place being taken by clusters of sharp spines. The flowers are usually regular, with a calyx of numerous combined sepals, and a corolla of numerous petals. The stamens, which have very long filaments, are also innumerable. The ovary is one-celled with a single style and several stigmas. The fruit is fleshy and frequently edible, with a pleasant sub-acid flavor."

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Opuntia pollardii is a member of the Cactaceae - Cactus family.

Other species of the Opuntia genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
  View  Opuntia humifusa - COASTAL PLAIN PRICKLY PEAR
  View  Opuntia stricta - ERECT PRICKLYPEAR
  View  Opuntia pusilla - COCKSPUR PRICKLYPEAR