It is a low growing, nearly, or totally, spineless cactus with bright yellow flowers. It does have glochids. These are tiny, hair-like barbed spines that look like tiny tufts of reddish brown hair. When touched, or even slightly brushed, they go into the skin and become very irritating.
In winter the oval or elongate stems
dehydrate and shrivel. In this state they are very resistant to cold, and wet conditions. The plants shown are in my winter hardy cactus and other succulent planting here in Southern Maryland. As with many opuntias, the stems (pads) can be easily detached and rooted.
I am using rooted pads of Opuntia humifusa for grafting stock. I don't do a lot of grafting, but I sometimes want to speed the growth of promising cacti seedlings and grafting can achieve this.
Opuntia humifusa was the first cactus I ever saw. I found a naturally growing clump of plants here in Maryland when accompanying my father on a fishing trip. I remember my amazement of these strange looking plants. Unfortunately, that was the day I also learned about "glochids," a painful lesson.