Low shrubs to 53 cm tall, with mainly ascending branches of one to six cladodes. Stem segments narrowly obovate to elliptic, flat, 8.5–13 cm long, 6–9 cm wide, terminal segments persistent, not readily detached; areoles 7–8 per diagonal row across midstem segment, subcircular, 3–3.5 mm in diameter, wool white, about 5–10 mm apart; each with an apical glochid tuft and single major spine, when developed; glochids inconspicuous, seldom more than 2–3 mm, yellow to brown; major spine generally one per areole, often not developed in many areoles of blooming age cladodes, pale straw yellow, terete, flexible, 2–10 cm long on flowering segments; minor spines 17–20, and 7–23 mm long, overlapping between areoles, grading in size and orientation but generally appressed to pad surface. Flowers 6.0–7.5 cm long, inner tepals yellow with each segment having a pink blush at midrib resulting in overall peach yellow appearance; filaments white, style white, stigma lobes green. Fruit 3–4 cm long, dry; areoles 21–27; spines 10–18 per areole, 6–35 mm long, flexible, often curved, occurring in all areoles giving the appearance of a long spine burr. Seeds numerous, large, 8–10 mm in diameter; raphe 1.5–2.5 mm wide from embryo chamber to margin of seed, often with a beaked funicular margin.
Chromosome number 2n=22.
Opuntia diploursina (2n=22) is known to frequently hybridize with Opuntia basilaris (2n = 22) wherever the two species co-occur. The resulting hybrids often backcross into either parent creating a hybrid swarm. Opuntia erinacea (2n=44) is suspected to be an allopolyploid derived from hybridization between O. diploursina and O. basilaris.
Type: USA, Arizona, Mohave Co., west slope of Grapevine Mesa near Meadview, 35° 50.532' N, 114° 07.623' W, 898.5 m (2948 ft) elevation.
Reference: Stock, A. D., Hussey, N., & Beckstrom, M. D. (2014). A New Species of Opuntia (Cactaceae) from Mojave Co, Arizona. Cactus and Succulent Journal, 86(2), 79-83.