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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota

Summer Wildflowers

Chris Grondahl photo: Pricklypear Cactus
Chris Grondahl
  Pricklypear Cactus
(Opuntia polycantha)

Distribution: western 2/3 of state
Habitat: gravelly, rocky or sandy mixed grass prairie hillsides or south slopes
Flowers: yellow to pink to red in color, approximately 2-3 inches in diameter
Height: up to 6-8 inches
When blooms: mid-June to mid-July
Family name: Cactus (Cactaceae)
Other names: Plains pricklypear
Plant uses and other interesting facts: Three species occur: Plains (O. polycantha), Bigroot (O. macrorhiza) and Fragile (O. fragilis). Abundance of all increased with drought and grazing.

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