Stem segments lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, becoming very elongate, often falcate, 35-120+ × 8-17.5 cm, 2+ times longer than wide. Spines 0-3 per areole, absent or irregularly to regularly arranged at most distal areoles, yellow, aging blackish, longest 12-30 mm. 2n = 66. Flowering spring (Apr-May). Deserts; 100-600 m; Ariz., Tex.; Mexico (Coahuila). Opuntiaengelmannii var. linguiformis is widely cultivated, at times escaping and becoming established in native desert vegetation. It was questionably reported to be native in Bexar County, Texas (D. Weniger 1984).
PADS: lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, becoming very elongate, often falcate, 35-120+ cm long, 8-17.5 cm broad. SPINES: absent or irregularly to regularly arranged at most distal areoles, yellow, aging blackish, 0-3 per areole, the largest 1.2-3 cm long. 2n = 66. NOTES: See also parent taxon. Widely cultivated, at times escaping; disturbed habitats, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, escaped in Maricopa, Pima cos.; 100-600 m (400-2000 ft); Apr-May; TX (presumed native); Mex.: Coah. This taxon is hardly more than a mutant form of var. lindheimeri. REFERENCES: Pinkava, Donald J. 2003. Cactaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 35(2).
Benson 1982, FNA 2003
Common Name: cactus apple Duration: Perennial Protected Status: No status in Arizona. General: Stem segments are lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate but becoming very elongate and often falcate (sickle-shaped), 35-120 cm long by 8-17.5 cm wide but generally two or more times longer than wide. Spines: Spines 0-3 per areole and irregularly armed at most distal areoles, the spines are yellow and age blackish with the longest 12-30 mm. Flowers: Inner tepals uniformly yellow to buff but sometimes orange to pink to red, 3-4 cm long, with filaments and style a whitish to cream color, with fresh stigmas yellow green to green, and stamens that close together when touched. Fruits: Deep red to purple and elongate ovate to barrel shaped they are sometimes stipitate, spineless and juicy, 3.5-9 cm long by 2-4 cm diameter. Ecology: Found as a cultivated plant, sometimes escaping and becoming established in native desert vegetation. Occasional near San Antonio, Texas, from 300-2,000 ft (92-610 m), flowers April-May. Notes: No official locations recorded in Arizona. The terminal buds do not die or become dormant after the early weeks of the first season, (as is the case with nearly all other prickly-pear joints), but continues the growth and elongation of the joint. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Opuntia from ancient root puncti for prickled, while engelmannii is named for Georg Engelmann (1809-1884) a German born, American botanical collector. Synonyms: Opuntia lindheimeri var. linguiformis, O. linguiformis Editor: LCrumbacher, 2010