Opuntia microdasys

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A species of cactus belonging to genus Opuntia of the family Cactaceae, and is endemic to central and northern Mexico


Opuntia is a genus of the family Cactaceae. The name of this genus is derived from the Ancient Greek city, Opus.1 Members of this genus typically have flat, rounded cladodes which may be armed with large, fixed spines or small, hairlike glochids. Glochids may detach from the cactus and then penetrate the skin where they cause skin irritation.

Opuntia microdasys is a cactus species. Its common distinctive features are as follows: appears as a dense shrub, 40 to 60 cm in height, and with pad-like stems of 6 to 15 cm in length and 4 to 12 cm wide. This species lacks spines but have numerous glochids that are in dense clusters. The glochids are barbed and very thin, white or yellow in color, and 2 to 3 mm in length. A slight touch could easily detach glochids from the cactus. The species is endemic to central and northern Mexico.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Genus: Opuntia
  • Species: O. microdasys

Other common name(s):

  • angel's-wings
  • bunny ears cactus
  • bunny cactus
  • polka-dot cactus

See also:

1 Quattrocchi, U. (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. III M-Q. CRC Press. p. 1885.