Opuntia robusta J.C.Wendl. ex Pfeiff.

Wheel Cactus

Enum. Diagn. Cact. 165 (1837) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect shrub 1–2(–4) m high, trunk often well-developed. Terminal cladodes compressed, thickish (1.5–2.5 cm through), more or less orbicular, 16–42 cm long and wide, dull, strongly glaucous; areoles 25–45 per cladode face, c. 2.5–5.5 cm apart, filled with brown wool and yellow to brown glochids (these occasionally bristle-like, to 15 mm long); spines spreading, 1–12 per areole, rarely absent, to 5 cm long, 0.8–1.3 mm wide near base, yellow, ageing white. Flowers 5–9 cm diam.; petaloids spreading, yellow, the outer often reddish; stamens yellow; style and stigmas whitish; hypanthium barrel-shaped, tuberculate. Fruit barrel-shaped, 5–8.5 cm long, 4–6 cm diam., deeply depressed at apex when young, purple, juicy. Flowers late spring–summer.

*EGL, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *VRiv, *VVP, *Wim. Also naturalised in WA, SA, NSW. Indigenous to central Mexico. Occasional on roadsides and in dry woodland communities, chiefly in north-western and north-central areas (e.g. Merbein, Charlton, Echuca). Well-established in the Maldon-Castlemaine area.

Source: Stajsic, V.; Carr, G. W. (1996). Cactaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2017-07-25
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Cactaceae
genus Opuntia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Opuntia robusta in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Opuntia robusta in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales