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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 13 | Cactaceae

2. Opuntia Miller, Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4. 1754.

仙人掌属 xian ren zhang shu

Nopalea Salm-Dyck.

Shrubs or small trees. Stems fleshy, usually many branched, terete, club-shaped, subglobose, laterally compressed; areoles with glochids and usually 1 to many spines. Leaves conic to terete, usually small, caducous. Flowers solitary, lateral or subterminal, rarely terminal, sessile. Receptacle obovoid, truncate and depressed at apex. Perianth rotate, spreading, or erect, inserted at rim of receptacle tube; segments numerous, outer ones sepaloid, inner ones petaloid. Stamens inserted in perianth throat, sensitive (except in O. cochenillifera). Ovary (pericarpel) inferior; placentas parietal. Fruit fleshy or dry, globose or ovoid, umbilicate, with areoles, glochids, and sometimes spines. Seeds encased in a white, hard, rarely hairy aril.

About 90 species: Americas; at least 30 species cultivated in China, of which four naturalized in southern and southwestern areas.

1 All perianth segments erect, red; stamens erect, longer than perianth, filaments and anthers red.   4 O. cochenillifera
+ Inner perianth segments spreading, yellow to orange; stamens spreading, but sensitive, closing around style when touched, shorter than perianth, filaments greenish or yellowish to white, anthers yellow   (2)
2 (1) Areoles of mature, ultimate joints with (1-)3-10 spines, spines yellow, ± brown banded or mottled, subulate, straight to curved, stout, usually flattened at base; petaloids lemon-yellow; stigmas 5.   1 O. dillenii
+ Areoles of mature, ultimate joints with 1-5 spines, spines white to grayish to reddish brown, aciculate, terete, sometimes absent; petaloids yellow to orange; stigmas 6-10   (3)
3 (2) Joints dull green or grayish green, margins ± entire, spineless or with 1-5 white spines; mature fruit barrel-shaped.   2 O. ficus-indica
+ Joints glossy green, margins undulate toward apex, spines gray to reddish brown with darker tips; mature fruit obconic to obovoid.   3 O. monacantha

Lower Taxa


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