One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A cactus of a genus that comprises the prickly pears.
- ‘In contrast to cultivated opuntias, wild opuntias generally do not develop young cladodes when extreme drought conditions prevail; this has been considered an avoidance strategy to prevent water loss.’
Early 17th century: from Latin, a name given to a plant growing around Opus (stem Opunt-), a city in Locris in ancient Greece. The term was later used as a genus name.
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