is an attractive species with limited distribution in far south Arizona, mostly around Nogales - between the Baboquivari and Santa Rita mountains. The mostly or completely spineless pads are bluish green in color with a distinct purple tinge, more evident during dry or cold weather, and they have a neat, regular array of areoles bearing yellow or brown glochids.
Pads are circular or slightly ovate in shape, about 7 inches across. If present, spines are white or pale yellow, up to 1.5 inches long, one per areole, and found mostly along pad edges. The species hybridizes with opuntia chlorotica
, forming a purplish-padded plant with more spines, similar to opuntia gosseliniana