Opuntia polyacantha 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Opuntia polyacantha Haw.
Common Name(s):
English Panhandle Prickly-pear, Plains Pricklypear
Taxonomic Source(s): Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-18
Assessor(s): Heil, K., Terry, M. & Corral-Díaz, R.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Goettsch, B.K.

Opuntia polyacantha has a very wide range, is abundant, and there are no threats. Hence, it is listed as Least Concern.


Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This is a wide-ranging species. It can be found in Chihuahua, Mexico and in the southwestern United States, from Texas and New Mexico extending north to Washington and Wyoming (Hernández et al. 2004) and Canada. It grows at elevations of 300 to 2,400 m asl (Benson 1982).
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan); Mexico (Chihuahua); United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):2400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is very abundant throughout its range.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species is found in grasslands, pine-juniper forests, sagebrush, xerophyllous scrub and lower montane forest. It grows on sandy soils of flats, washes, canyonsides, and hillsides in the desert, in woodlands, and on plains.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not used or found in trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. A potential threat to species of the genus Opuntia is the invasion of the cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum, which can exterminate populations completely (Zimmerman et al. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs within many protected areas.

Citation: Heil, K., Terry, M. & Corral-Díaz, R. 2013. Opuntia polyacantha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T151747A557111. . Downloaded on 20 October 2017.
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