Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus 
Opuntia humifusa


    The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus has several means of reproduction. Being an angiosperm (flowering plant) and a part of the Magnoliopsida (dicots), it produces a bright yellow, pollen producing flowers. The pads themselves rise from buds off of the stem or other existing pads as seen to the left. Learn about another dicot plant here, the English Ivy.
    The brightly colored flowers attract insects such as bumble bees. When the bee lands on the flower, the anthers of the plant release pollen which sticks to the bee. As it travels from plant to plant, this pollen gets transferred with it.
    In addition to using pollen as a means of reproduction, this plant also reproduces sexually through seeds. The seeds are produced through alternation of generations including haploid and diploid stages of meiosis and mitosis. The seeds are protected by a bright red colored fruit. These fruits are often consumed by aerial organisms such as birds. The seeds end up passing through the bird's digestive system, thus being dispersed upon defecation. Click here to learn more about seed-eating birds.