Opuntia microdasys

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Opuntia microdasys
Opuntia microdasys 3.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Opuntia
Species: O. microdasys
Binomial name
Opuntia microdasys
(Lehm.) Pfeiff.

Opuntia microdasys (angel's-wings, bunny ears cactus, bunny cactus or polka-dot cactus) is a species of cactus native and endemic to central and northern Mexico.

Description[edit]

Opuntia microdasys forms a dense shrub 40–60 cm tall, occasionally more, composed of pad-like stems 6–15 cm long and 4–12 cm broad.

Opuntia microdasys has no spines, but instead has numerous white or yellow glochids 2–3 mm long in dense clusters; these glochids are barbed and thinner than the finest human hairs, detaching in large numbers upon the slightest touch. If not removed they will cause considerable skin irritation so the plants must be treated with caution. Despite this, it is a very popular cactus in cultivation.

Related species[edit]

The very closely related Opuntia rufida differs in having reddish-brown glochids. It occurs further north in northern Mexico, and into western Texas. Some botanists treat the two as a single species.

Species comparison gallery[edit]

External links[edit]