Shrubs, forming clumps or often prostrate, usually only 1 or 2 stem segments tall, to 0.5 m (except in Florida where they may be erect and reach to 2+ m with short trunk), flattened to obovoid, sometimes from tuberlike rootstocks. Stem segments not disarticulating, dark or bright shiny green, wrinkling when stressed, circular to broadly oblong to obovate, 5-17.5 × 4-12 cm, fleshy, usually tuberculate, glabrous; areoles 4-6 per diagonal row across midstem segment, oval to circular, 2-4 mm diam., not raised, sometimes somewhat sunken; wool tan to brown. Spines often absent or 1-2(-3) per areole, spreading, whitish to brownish, terete, straight, and usually stout, 25-60 mm; occasionally also 1 deflexed spine present. Glochids in dense crescent of adaxial edge of areole and in dense tuft overtopping crescent in age, yellow to red-brown, to 4 mm. Flowers: inner tepals pale to bright yellow throughout, 20-30 mm diam.; filaments yellow to orange; anthers pale yellow to cream; style and stigma lobes white. Fruits greenish, tardily becoming apricot to brownish red, elongate, 30-50 × 12-20 mm, fleshy, tapering at base; pulp green and sour, becoming reddish and sweet under ideal conditions; areoles 10-18. Seeds tan, 3.5-4.5 mm diam., thickish; girdle protruding to 1 mm.
"Prostrate or spreading, forming large mats; roots mostly fibrous, only seldom tuberous-thickened; joints of the stem flattened, oblong to suborbicular, 4–12 cm at maturity; areoles commonly 10–25 mm apart, spineless, or some of them with 1, rarely 2 spines 1.5–3 cm; fls 4–8 cm wide, yellow, often with a red center; outer sep subulate to lanceolate; fr red or purple, 2.5–5 cm, edible; seeds discoid, with an indurate, regular margin. On rocks, shores, sand-dunes, or sandy prairies; e. Mass. to s. Ont. and s. Minn., s. to Fla. and e. Tex. June, July. (O. calcicola; O. compressa; O. opuntia; O. pollardii; O. rafinesquei; O. vulgaris, misapplied)"
Niederliegende Pflanze mit dickfleischigen, flachen, ovalen, hellgrünen, bis 10 cm langen Stängelgliedern. Dornen meist einzeln, 1–2,5 cm lang, hellbraun bis weiss, oft ganz fehlend, aber warzenartige Gebilde (Areolen) mit einzelnen,
Perennial dwarf shrub, forming clumps or mats 0.1-0.3 x 2 m or more; cladodes procumbent or decumbent, glabrous, no > two pads high, elliptic to obovate or elliptic, 50-125 mm long, pale green, often tinged purple; areoles with dense glochidia. Spines absent or 1-3. Leaves up to 10 mm long, apex acute, early deciduous. Flowers: up to 100 mm long, 80 mm in diameter, perianth golden-yellow, orange or red in throat; Oct.-Dec. Fruit narrowly obovoid, 40-60 mm long, purple or red, purple inside.
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