Monday, September 6, 2010

100 Species Challenge #72

Thanks, blogger, for flipping my photo. You think you're so smart, no matter what I do to the original image.

Specimen #73

Plains Prickly Pear
Opuntia polyacantha

Photo by me, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Here's another plant I found everywhere during my South Dakota trip. I hadn't seen grass and cacti mixed together until I got to the reservation. Prickly pears are native to North America. Many uses listed at this link: ethnobotany.

The entire plant forms a low, matted clump. I didn't see any fresh flowers, but if they were fresh and not dried up, from what I could tell, they would probably be yellow. Prickly pears come short and tall, singly and in large groups, but always in the pear shape. In _North American Wildlife_, size is listed from 4 - 12" tall, but I saw many shorter ones. Growing conditions are sun and dry land.

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