Englemann Prickly Pear (opuntia phaeacantha)

This conspicuous cactus of the pinon-juniper forest forms large clumps to 3 inches tall and perhaps 8 inches diameter. The pads are 4-10 inches long and 2-6 inches wide. The 1-3 inch spines are concentrated toward the top of each pad. The May/June, 2-3 inch diameter flowers are bright yellow. Pads are often eaten by jack-rabbits, while birds, rodents and people eat the reddish-purple, fleshy fruits.