Summary details for Opuntia spinulifera

Saucepan cactus

Opuntia spinulifera

Common names: Saucepan cactus (English), Grootrondeblaarturksvy (Afrikaans)

Origin: Texas

Description

Erect succulent shrub generally up to 1.5 m high, sometimes as high as 3 m. Cladodes (stem segments) round to broadly egg-shaped, light grey-green, smooth and very finely hairy, often waxy-looking. Cushions at base of spines small, white, each usually carrying 1 to 5 fine, white, mostly downward-pointing spines, and numerous, densely packed, shorter glochidia (bristles) around the base of the spines. Marginal spine clusters are more developed and the cushions near the base of the cladodes often lack spines. Flowers yellow, each petal with a fine point at the tip. Fruit fleshy, egg-shaped, green possibly becoming yellow when ripe, covered in many whitish cushions of glochidia, some with very fine white spines.

Discussion

This is a newly invasive species in Namibia that is in the early stages of spreading in the Windhoek townlands.

Opuntia spinulifera
Opuntia spinulifera © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Opuntia spinulifera
Opuntia spinulifera © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Opuntia spinulifera
Opuntia spinulifera © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Opuntia spinulifera
Opuntia spinulifera © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Opuntia spinulifera
Opuntia spinulifera © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer

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