The purple prickly pear (Opuntia violacea var. macrocentra) belogns to Cactaceae (the Cactus family). It is a prickly pear that is the south-western United States; Texas, New Mexico and eastern Arizona, and northern Mexico. This prickly pear grows in gravel or sandy flats, mesas, hillsides and can reach 90-150 cm in height. The stem segments are flat and almost round, bluish green and in winter or times of drought turn red or purple. They have 1 or 2 spines per areole and have glochids. The yellow flowers bloom from April to May. The fruits are fleshy berries, yellow-green ripening to red-purple.