Return to the Cacti Gallery Forum | Post a Follow-Up

opuntia ficus-indica and engelmannii

Posted by heathjez fl (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 15, 06 at 15:03

hello. does anyone know of a definitive guide to opuntia, particularly ficus-indica and engelmannii varieties? I am a grad student working on a project with SW cacti and I am finding it very difficult to figure out the exact subspecies (varieties) of many of my plants. They were purchased a few years ago from a nursery in AZ, but I don't trust them b/c many were mislabeled. All the books/field guides/websites I have checked seem to contradict each other; for example, the images I have found of O. engelamnnii lindheimeri often look quite different from each other. Any help with this daunting task would be greatly appreciated!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: opuntia ficus-indica and engelmannii

That's a tough task you're working on- good luck! Opuntias are extremely variable, they tend to hybridize a lot, and it's a huge genus, all of which makes your project that much more challenging. lists 6 different varieties for O. engelmanii. As for O. ficus-indica, I'm not sure of how many varieties there are. lists 3 varieties for Indian Fig, but I'm not sure how valid those varieties are. I often see Opuntia ellisiana being sold as O. ficus-indica.

I guess I would recommend posting pics of your plants for identification. There are many amazing cactophiles on this forum who can probably id your plants from photos.


RE: opuntia ficus-indica and engelmannii

You might go to and post pics in the ID section. Some very good eyes on that board.

RE: opuntia ficus-indica and engelmannii

thanks for the advice, cactus dude and fred grow! The hybridization factor does make it tougher to arrive at a positive id. I was going to post pics on this forum, but they are large plants that have been placed in a 7x14 arrangement for ovipostition trials. Therefore, all my pics are of just one plant and the forum only allows one image per post. I will try '
Thanks again!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Cacti Gallery Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here