Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus 
Opuntia humifusa



Taxonomic Classification

 Level:    Characteristics:
 Domain  Eukarya   
An organism with a true nucleus and   membrane bound organelles.
 Kingdom   Plantae    
Mulitcellular organisms with a cell wall and chloroplasts, they also photosynthesize.

 Phylum   Magnoliophyta   
Flowering plants with fruit covered seeds-Dominant sporophyte.

Click here to learn about another plant in this phylum, the chocolate tree.

 Class   Magnoliopsida   
Dicotyledons (have two embryonic cotyledons).  

 Order   Caryophyllales   
Physiologically adapted to survive in extreme environments.  

 Family   Cactaceae   
Belonging to the cactus family.

 Genus   Opuntia   
Paddle shaped cacti consisting almost entirely of the Prickly Pear species.  

 Species   Opuntia humifusa   
Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus, found in Northeastern North America and Southern Canada.  


The phylogenetic trees above and below were created by me in paint. The one above shows the overall classification of life of the Prickly Pear Cactus. It shows how it is a member of the Eukarya domain, the Plantae phylum, and so on all the way down to the genus and species Opuntia humifusa. The phylogenetic tree below takes a little bit different approach. This one starts by showing the family the prickly pear belongs to and goes on to show the many genuses in this family. It then goes on to show the different species that belong to this genus. All of the different species are not listed as there are hundreds of them, but it gives you a general sense to where Opuntia humifusa stands in regards to its closest relatives.