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Desert Dweller

image of prickly pear cactusPrickly pear cactus blooms from May to July in dry areas, including glades, roadsides and open hillsides, in south and central Missouri. What looks like paddle-shaped leaves on the plant are actually thick stems. Prickly pear's tiny leaves, guarded by spines and hairlike bristles, are distributed over the stem's surface. -- Jim Rathert

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