We visited Mesa Verde Nat'l Park and many patches of Opuntia. There
appeared to be several species. There were large differences in size
of "pads" and spines, or so it seemed. I've googled this one but can't
find any answers. I don't have any flower picutres since they were all
finished blooming. Ideas?
Boissevain & Davidson reported the same thing back in 1940. Apparently there
is a hybrid swarm involving Opuntia fragilis and other species from the
Opuntia polyacantha complex in the area. Makes one wonder what the native
residents were doing with the native cacti way back then. Too bad you missed
the flowers. Flower are in a wide range of colors from yellow to reddish
I was at Mesa Verde a few weeks ago. The thing that struck me was that
the burned areas are growing back with canadian thistles instead of
little pinyon pines and juniper trees. There was thistle fluff blowing
around in the air like cottonwood fluff.
All the other national parks with burned areas were growing back in with
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