Boxing glove cactus
Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata
Common names: Boxing glove cactus, Coral cactus (English)
Origin: Arizona, USA
Erect, generally distorted-looking shrub up to 80cm high. Stems grey-green, lumpy (tubercular), with widely spaced clusters of spines making the surface easily visible (unlike var. fulgida, which is densely spine covered, and has longer spines). Stem segments easily detach. Spines flattened, carried in widely spaced but dense groups of up to 15, 20 to 20 mm long, cream to brown with pale papery sheaths. Flowers red, seldom seen. Fruit greenish to yellowish, succulent, very lumpy, with a few fine spines, forming chains at branch tips, also seldom seen.
This is a highly invasive species that forms dense stands, especially in disturbed areas. It spreads via segments that easily fall and root, and individual fruit can root to form new plants as well. It is a declared category 1 weed in South Africa and is also a declared weed in Australia.