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Glochid      [ Botany ]
Adjective: Glochidiate

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

  Glochids are very sharp specialized short hair like spines,  they are  barbed at the tip, often occurring in tufts and deciduous ; They are a defining characteristic, only of the subfamily, Opuntioideae, of the family Cactaceae. Not present on other cactus genera.  

Tuft of glochids
(Tephrocactus molinensis)

 Their name derives from the Latin word “glochidium” a “barbed hair of a plant”.

Glochids are detachable and break away very easily and quickly become embedded in skin or clothing, they are strongly hurtful..

(Compare with bristle, spine, prickle, thorn)

The tip of barbed glochid



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