Opuntia macrocentra var. macrocentra (redirected from: Opuntia violacea)
Family: Cactaceae
purple pricklypear
[Opuntia violacea Engelm.,  more]
Opuntia macrocentra var. macrocentra image
Anderson 2001
Common Name: purple pricklypear Duration: Perennial Protected Status: Salvage resrticted status in Arizona. General: Similar to O. macrocentra except that the stem segments are 15-20 cm long and a dull dark green, or often with some purple, with a high density of areoles. Spines: Spines absent or along upper pad margin to most areoles, they are usually erect or spreading but sometimes deflexed, straight or curving and subterete to flattened basally there are 0-15+ per areole with the larger ones 5-12 cm long, red brown to black or partly to wholly chalky white, with reddish yellow glochids that age brown in a dense crescent at upper edge of areole, these 2-6 mm. Flowers: Inner tepals yellow with red basal portions, they are obovate-apiculate, 25-40 mm, with yellowish filaments, a cream style, and green fresh stigmas. Fruits: Fruits are a dull, deep, purplish red. Ecology: Found on sandy flats to rocky hills and slopes, primarily in Chihuahuan desert and desert grassland but rare in Arizona desert from 3,000-5,500 ft (914-1676 m), flowers March-June. Notes: Distinguish this variety by its dark green pad color, the high density of areoles on the pads, and the dark purple fruit. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in this genera have many uses. Etymology: Opuntia from ancient root puncti for prickled, macrocentra is thought to come from macro, or large, and the Greek work kentron, or a spur. Synonyms: Many, see Tropicos Editor: LCrumbacher, 2010