Opuntia and related species (opuntiads) are unique cacti that have unusual shapes and beautiful flowers. They are common in parts of the United States and Mexico, but they occur throughout the Americas. There are over 100 species in the USA. Opuntia Web describes three types of opuntiads: Opuntia, Cylindropuntia, and Grusonia.
Of the many opuntiads in the USA, some have been forgotten by time because they were discovered over 100 years ago.
Some opuntiads look superficially alike and only close inspection can tell them apart. Thus, casual observation might indicate one species where there are actually two.
Early botanists identified them and understood their uniqueness, and we use those historical records along with field studies to identify them, their differences, and their similarities.
What We Do
We describe the species, and we have large photographs so you can see details. The goal is to show you what these plants look like. If you find an opuntiad, we can help you identify it. Just write to us.
A group of experts verifies all the information in this Website. But we’re always happy to learn new things. Maybe you found an Opuntia in an unusual place or with unusual growth; let us know.
Opuntiads are unique and worth studying. This Website will help you understand and enjoy this group of cacti.
How Do You Pronounce It?
Opuntia is pronounced two different ways. It doesn’t matter which pronunciation you use; cactus enthusiasts will understand you.