Gard. Dict. no., edn 8, 2 (1768) APNI
Erect shrub, to c. 5 m high, trunk often well-developed. Terminal cladodes compressed, obovate to broadly obovate, thick (2–3.2 cm through), 25–50 cm long, 10–20 cm wide, glabrous, dull, green, grey-green or glaucous; areoles 30–75 per cladode face, c. 2–5 cm apart, filled with brownish wool; glochids yellow or yellow-brown, to 3 mm long, mostly absent from older cladodes; spines absent, or up to c. 9 per areole, the longest 0.4–4.1 cm long, 0.5–1.2 mm wide near base, subappressed, deflexed or spreading, straight, white to pale yellow. Flowers 7–10 cm diam.; sepaloids yellow with reddish or green median stripes; petaloids spreading, yellow or orange-yellow, tinged pink; stamens pale yellow; style whitish, stigmas green; hypanthium strongly tuberculate. Fruit barrel-shaped, 5–9 cm long, 4–9 cm diam., smooth, with few short, deciduous spines, depressed at apex, yellow, orange or red, juicy. Flowers late spring–summer.
*CVU, *MuM, *OtP, *RobP, *VVP. Also naturalised SA, Qld, NSW. Probably indigenous to Mexico. Commercially and domestically grown for its edible fruits, with most occurrences in Victoria near cultivated plants or from garden refuse.
2 variants have been noted in Victoria: one is spineless or has 1(–4) appressed or deflexed spines per areole, scattered over cladode face, the spines being short (4–19 mm long) and thin (0.5–0.8 mm diam.); the other has numerous spreading spines (3–9 on most areoles) that are long (to 41 mm) and stouter (1–1.2 mm diam.). The former is the more common in cultivation.
|Bioregion||Occurrence status||Establishment means|
|Victorian Volcanic Plain||present||naturalised|
|Central Victorian Uplands||present||naturalised|
|New South Wales|
|Australian Capital Territory|