Opuntia martiniana (L. Benson) Parfitt
Family: Cactaceae
Opuntia martiniana image
Benson 1982
Common Name: seashore cactus Duration: Perennial Protected Status: No status in Arizona. General: Generally large, forming clumps up to 0.5 m tall and 1 m in diameter with joints that are obovate to orbiculate and 12.5-17.5 cm long by 7.5-14 cm broad, the pads somewhat glaucous. Spines: Spines usually covering all or most of a joint with 1-6 per areole and ranging from red and yellow to gray, 2.5-7 cm long. Flowers: Flowers yellow with a red center. Fruits: Fruits reddish purple. Ecology: Found in valleys, flats, and mountainsides in forests or woodlands, or at desert edges on sandy or gravelly soils from 4,500-6,500 ft (1219-1981 m). Notes: According to Benson 1982 this species is a variety of O. littoralis, (O. littoralis var. martiana), and readily hybirdizes with many other species of Opuntia, including O. phaeacantha, O. macrorhiza, O. violicea, O. atrispina, and O. humifusa. USDA Plants has this species present only in Arizona and Utah, but Benson notes it as present in CA, NV, and CO. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Opuntia from ancient root puncti for prickled, while martiniana is uncertain. Editor: LCrumbacher, 2010