Opuntia echios gigantea
The opuntia is the most common cactus in the islands. Identified by the flat and rounded cladodes (cactus pad) which can been seen with two different types of spines and yellow flowers. On many islands the opuntia appears as a shrub, except on islands where herbivores are a threat then the opuntia can be found with trunks growing up to 5 ft tall. Opuntia Cactus are considered an excellent example of adaptive radiation. These cactus provide the habitat and food source for many of the birds and animals on the islands including 2 species of finch, iguanas, doves, tortoises and mockingbirds.