One of the small, easily detached, barbed spines on a cactus of the subfamily Opuntioideae, such as a prickly pear or cholla.
glochids on a prickly pear
(plural glochids or glochidia)
- a form of small, detachable, irritant spine occurring in dense clusters in the areoles of certain cacti such as prickly pear. Typically glochids are short, straight, and microscopically barbed. When stuck into the skin of anyone touching the plant, they detach and remain in the skin when the victim moves away.