A sting is barbed glochidia, mostly tiny, which stands at the slightest touch and is irritating to the skin.
They can be found in the Cactaceae and especially in the genera Mammillaria and Opuntias small such that Opuntia microdasys).
The glochids are generally grouped into several dozen clumps of 6-20 spines regularly distributed over the entire plant. They have a defensive role (often ineffective) against herbivores.
On these plants, glochids replaced the thorns, or sometimes are added to further improve protection. As the thorns, they grow on the areoles of plants.
There are also glochids on fruits like prickly pear, which must therefore be carefully peeled before being eaten.
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