#PlantoftheWeek: Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia spp.)
Although they aren’t often found around higher elevations, cacti are still an important part of the Spring Mountains forest ecosystem. Prickly pear are identifiable by their broad pad-like stems and vibrant early summer blooms. The fruits yielded by these plants are typically enjoyed by deer, rodents, birds, and tortoises. Look for these spiny plants near the Visitor Gateway and along lower elevation trails, such as the Acastus.