Bunny-ear prickly pear
Common names: Bunny-ear prickly pear
Much branched succulent shrub, somewhat creeping to nearly erect, up to 1 m high, forming low, dense clumps. Cladodes flattened, ovate to almost round, almost always lacking spines but very finely velvety and carrying numerous dense pads (‘areoles’) of golden-yellow glochids (extremely irritating bristles that float off easily when disturbed, and can cause severe eye problems in humans and animals). Cladodes often grow in pairs, giving the appearance of bunny ears. Flowers yellow with dark green stigma. Fruit spineless, finely hairy, green ripening to dark red then yellow, ovoid to nearly globular, about 2.5 cm long, with many areoles bearing dense glochids.
Similar species: Opuntia rufida is a similar cactus with red to dark brown glochids instead of yellow. Some people regard them as different varieties of this species.