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Flowers, areolas and cladodes of the Prickly Pear tree
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The number of flowers carried by a Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) cladode is very variable. It depends on physiological factors but also on the position of the cladode on the plant and of its exposure. A fertile cladode can support up to thirty flowers. The areolas which give the flowers are modified buds characteristic of Cactaceae. They can also produce thorns, roots or new cladodes.
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