Also classed as a variety of opuntia engelmannii
, the Texas prickly pear
grows in scattered locations all across south central USA between New Mexico and Louisiana, from the Chihuahuan Desert to grassy plains and wooded areas. Pads are large, up to one foot in length, and bear sharp, shiny, yellowish spines (1 to 6 per areole, up to 2 inches long); this is one factor used to differentiate from o. engelmannii, as this has white or brownish spines. Opuntia lindheimeri may reach a height of 5 feet but grows mostly sideways, forming extensive clumps. The bright yellow flowers are up to 3 inches in diameter.