Opuntia Azurea

Plants > Cacti > Opuntia > Opuntia Azurea

Found only in the Big Bend region of west Texas, opuntia azurea is an attractive plant, with bluish, reddish or purplish-green stems (bright red-purple when young) bearing long red spines (usually just one per areole) along the rim and the upper part of each pad. The cactus flowers profusely in early summer, producing large, yellow-red blooms, followed by red/purple fruits. The species is similar to opuntia macrocentra, but has generally fewer (and darker) spines, and more uniform pad coloration.

Scientific name: Opuntia azurea
Common name: Purple prickly pear, Big Bend prickly pear
Range: The Big Bend area of west Texas
Form: Sprawling clusters, 2 to 3 feet high
Habitat: Desert flats, grasslands, mountain slopes, up to 5,500 feet elevation
Flowers: Orange or yellow-orange, with red centers
Young pad

Purple pad
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