Prickly Pear
Brittle Prickly-Pear (Opuntia fragilis) Photo Credit: Jason Hollinger

Unique Features: Brittle prickly pear is a small cactus species that grows low to the ground in bunches. They are sometimes hard to notice, until you find them stuck to the soles of your shoes or your clothing. Their spines are sharp and strong enough to penetrate the sole of a shoe. Sections of cactus easily break off and can take root to form a new plant. Their showy yellow flowers add vibrancy to the shrub steppe after spring rains.