Opuntia triacantha

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Opuntia triacantha

Vulnerable (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Opuntia
Species: O. triacantha
Binomial name
Opuntia triacantha
(Willd.) Sweet

Opuntia triacantha is a species of cactus known by the common names Spanish lady, Keys Joe-jumper, Big Pine Key prickly-pear, and jumping prickly apple. It is native to the Caribbean, from Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico, to the Lesser Antilles, to Big Pine Key in Florida.[1]

This cactus grows prostrate or upright to a maximum length of 60 centimeters. The stem segments are flattened and oval in shape, up to 18 centimeters long by 7 wide. The black-tipped spines are up to 4 centimeters long. The cactus produces yellow flowers year-round. The fleshy red fruit is up to 3 centimeters long by 2 wide.[2]

The cactus grows on the sandy limestone of exposed reefs.[1][3]

This species is threatened by the cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum).[1]


  1. ^ a b c Opuntia triacantha. Center for Plant Conservation.
  2. ^ Opuntia triacantha. Flora of North America.
  3. ^ Opuntia triacantha. The Nature Conservancy.

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