Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium


Because of technology changes and personnel changes at UWSP and the Wisconsin State Herbarium, the database of plant species housed at this site was merged with the database from the OLD WisFlora website to create a new Flora of Wisconsin website at Currently we are encouraging all Wisplant viewers to begin using the Flora of Wisconsin website as soon as possible. Wisplants will remain operational through July 13th. After that date, all traffic to Wisplants will be redirected to the Flora of Wisconsin website.

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  Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw. image
Photographer: Derek Anderson           

Charles R. Bomar

Charles R. Bomar

Derek Anderson

Hugh H. Iltis
Family Cactaceae
Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw.
brittle prickly-pear, fragile prickly-pear, little prickly-pear
Opuntia: Greek name used by Pliny for a different plant which grew around the town of Opus in Greece
fragilis: brittle
County distribution map- click for detailed distribution maps.
Detailed Distribution:
Town Range Maps
Google Dot Maps
Status: Threatened
Plant: prostrate/spreading, perennial, spiny shrub forming dense mats up to 20" wide; stems branched, the joints not very flat, somewhat swollen and easy to detach
Flower: yellow to greenish, 7 or more-parted, 1 1/2"-2" wide; blooms May-July
Fruit:fleshy, wingless, greenish to red when fresh, drying to tan, inedible, seeds disc-like with irregular edges
Leaf:usually more than 2 spines together
Habitat: dry; prairies

More Information Natural Communities Herbarium Specimens
All Opuntia list Google- Images or Text

Flora of North America (off site)
Cactus fragilis Nutt.
Opuntia brachyarthra Engelm. & J.M.Bigelow
Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw. var. brachyarthra (Engelm. & J.M.Bigelow) J.M.Coult.
Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw. var. denudata Wiegand & Backeb.
Opuntia fragilis (Nutt.) Haw. var. fragilis
Opuntia schweriniana K.Schum.

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