Cactaceae: Cactus Family

Mission Prickly-pear / Cactus – Opuntia ficus-indica

Blooms:

May–June

Plant Height:

4–5  m

Flower Size:

Large

Origin:

Non-native; native range unknown

Habitat:

Dry coastal areas

Notes:

The only cactus found growing wild in Monterey County, found in quantity along the trail to Soberanes Canyon.  The elliptic to obovate segments (not actually leaves) are immediately recognizable.  Flowers are bright yellow or salmon-colored.  Fruits are round and succulent but need to be handled with great care to avoid the tiny but numerous glassy glochids (spines).