• Artist George Catlin recorded the quarrying activity at the pipestone quarries in 1836


    National Monument Minnesota

Cacti / Desert Succulents

Pricly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

NPS, G. Wagner

The Pipestone National Monument's Sioux quartzite prairie supports two species of cacti. The rocky outcrops and shallow soil along the cliffline areas provide the Plains Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia macrorhiza) with a niche with little competition for resources. The Prickly Pear cactus blooms for a short time in early July, displaying beautiful and fragile looking yellow flowers.

Common Name Scientific Name
Prickly Pear Opuntia macrorhiza
Brittle Prickly Pear Opuntia fragilis

Did You Know?

The Nicollet Rock

Joseph Nicollet and John C. Frémont, famous 19th century explorers, visited Pipestone National Monument in 1838 and carved their initials into the Sioux Quartzite cliff. The inscription is still visible along the Circle Trail. More...