Photo Credit: John Kameras
A part of the cacti family, the Opuntia aureispina is an endangered perennial endemic to Texas and parts of Mexico. This succulent enjoys full sun and tolerates drought well, flourishing best in hardiness zones 9 through 11. Also known as the Rio Grande Prickly Pear, this shrub has a light bluish-green tint to its flattened oval stems. These waxy stems are protected by bright orange, sharp spines ranging from 2-6 inches long. Come late spring to early summer, yellow flowers appear flaring an orangey-red color at the base. Growing anywhere from 2-4 feet tall, like most prickly pears, they form a dense cluster of plants.
Photo Credit: The Biota of North America Program