Opuntia littoralis is a species of prickly pear cactus known by the common name coastal prickly pear. It is sometimes called the sprawling prickly pear due to its short stems and habit of growing close to the ground. "Littoral" means "pertaining to the seashore".
Opuntia littoralis is native to southern California and Baja California, where it grows in coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats. The cactus is variable in appearance; there are several varieties and hybrids with similar species are commonly found.
Opuntia littoralis generally grows in dense clumps spreading several meters wide and up to a meter-3 feet tall. The branches are made up of oval-shaped flat segments up to 22 centimetres (8.7 in) long. It is covered in clusters of yellowish spines 2 to 4 centimetres (0.79 to 1.57 in) long. The flowers are pale yellow or red, occurring in May to June. The fruit is purplish red and up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long. The fruit is edible.
- California coastal sage and chaparral - (subecoregion)
- Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains, Nancy Dale, 2nd Ed., 2000, p. 88
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Opuntia littoralis.|
- CalFlora Database — Opuntia littoralis
- Jepson Manual Treatment: Opuntia littoralis
- USDA Plants Profile: Opuntia littoralis (coast prickly pear)
- Flora of North America: Opuntia littoralis
- Opuntia littoralis Photo gallery
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