Spiny-Fruited Prickly Pear
The spiny-fruited prickly pear (Opuntia x spinosibacca) is a naturally occurring hybrid between two overlapping Opuntia species (O. aureispina and O. phaeacantha) found in the Big-Bend Region of Texas and is believed to be reproducing with others of the same hybrid in the wild, which is a common way over time we end up with distinct new species. In some circles, it is already being referred to as a unique species: Opuntia spinosibacca. Although they are considered rare in the wild, I happened to find many hundreds of them in bloom like this one spread out in the lowland region north of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park in West Texas near the Rio Grande.
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