Summary details for Opuntia rufida

Blind prickly pear

Opuntia rufida

Common names: Blind Prickly Pear; Cinnamon bunny-ears

Origin: Texas and Mexico

Shrubby succulent up to 1.5 m high and 2.5 m wide. Cladodes flattened, ovate to almost round, grey-green to blue-green, lacking spines but very finely velvety and carrying numerous dense pads (‘areoles’) of red-brown to dark brown 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 pale yellow, becoming golden yellow to orange with age; stigma dark green. Fruit spineless, finely hairy, green ripening to bright red, ovoid to nearly globular, about 2.5 cm long, with many areoles bearing dense glochids.
 

Similar species: This species is often confused with Opuntia microdasys, which has yellow glochids. Some people regard them as different varieties of the same species.

Opuntia rufida
Opuntia rufida © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Opuntia rufida
Opuntia rufida © Photo: Chris Brown
Opuntia rufida
Opuntia rufida © Photo: Chris Brown

Similar species

Bunny-ear prickly pear

Opuntia microdasys
© Photo: Coleen Mannheimer

Blind prickly pear

Opuntia rufida
© Photo: Coleen Mannheimer