Glochids rather than spines are the main pad covering for opuntia aciculata
, a rare (and probably not native) species found in America only along the Rio Grande in Webb County, south Texas. Areoles on the circular or oval pads have prominent clusters of loosely-attached brown glochids, on the pad surface and especially along the edges. Spines are mostly absent, but if present number just 1, 2 or 3, and are less than an inch long. The springtime flowers are typically large and pretty, colored red/orange or yellowish, while the fruits are reddish purple, spineless, and also with glochids.