Pads of opuntia gosseliniana
may be purple or green depending on environmental conditions; when purple the species resembles opuntia santa rita
, which is found in the same area, but this has generally shorter spines (or no spines), larger pads and forms larger clusters. The cactus also has similarities to opuntia macrocentra
, and is sometimes classed as a variety of opuntia chlorotica
. Spine cover is variable; some areoles have none, others (towards the pad edges) have from 1 to 4 spines, white or brownish. Glochids are also more pronounced around the edges of the pads.