Purple Prickly Pear Cactus Seeds (Opuntia violacea v. santa rita)
Purple Prickly Pear Cactus Opuntia Santa-Rita is a bushy succulent shrub to 2 m high and 3 m wide with a distinct, though short trunk. It is a very attractive species with reddish or violet-purple pads. Small plants seem to be the most colorful. The yellow flowers are stunning on the purple pads in spring, definitely an eye-catcher.
Stem segments: Round, ovate or obovate sometimes broader than long, not easily detached, 5-20 cm across, thin, nearly smooth, glabrous, glaucous blue-green, when under stress with reddish or violet-purple coloring around the areoles and along the edge; this coloring is more pronounced during winter.
Areoles: 6-8(-9) per diagonal row across the mid-stem segment, oval to round, sometimes reniform, c. 3 mm in diameter when young, but increasing with age to about 6 mm, 1.5-2.5 cm apart. The new areoles bear a lot of wool and many short glochids up to 6 mm long. They are yellow to tannish brown in color dense in a crescent at the adaxial edge of areole, nearly encircling areoles, and in a subapical tuft, of even height. The growth of the wool and glochids on old stem pads sometimes produces an elongation of the areole structure outward.
Spines: Not numerous, new stem segments often being spineless or with 1 spine present on only a few edge areoles. Older segments may have 2-3 spines in the upper areoles only. Spines are needle-like, deflexed to erect, straight or slightly curved, flexible, light reddish brown to pink with the upper parts yellowish or mottled with yellow, sometimes almost all black, 2-6.2(-10) cm long.
Flowers: Yellow with bright red bases, 7.5-9(-10) cm in diameter. Inner tepals yellow throughout, fading orangish, 25-45 mm; filaments pale yellow throughout or pale yellow proximally, white distally; anthers pale yellow; style white; stigma lobes light green.