Opuntia aurantiaca Lindl.

Tiger Pear

Bot. Reg. 19: t. 1606 (1833) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Low, divaricately branched, spreading to sub-erect shrub to c. 60 cm high. Terminal cladodes readily disarticulating, subcylindric to flattened, narrowly lanceolate, 3.5–30 cm long, 2–4 cm wide, glabrous, green with purplish tinges, glossy; areoles 5–25 mm apart, filled with white to light brown wool and brown glochids; spines spreading, 1–7 per areole on most areoles, 1–4 cm long, 0.6–0.8 mm wide near base, rigid, red to red-brown, ageing white to brownish. Flowers 2.5–5 cm diam.; sepaloids pinkish-red tinged; petaloids spreading, yellow; staminal filaments yellow; style and stigma pale yellow; hypanthium smooth. Fruit obovoid, 2.5–3.5 cm long, 1.5–1.8 cm diam., smooth, with persisting spines, green to reddish-purple, not juicy; not known to produce viable seed. Flowers late spring–summer.

*CVU, *EGL, *Gold, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *VRiv, *VVP. Also naturalised SA, Qld, NSW. Probably native to South America, but possibly a hybrid of unknown parentage. Known from Little River (near Geelong) where common on rocky escarpments, and from a localised population at Rushworth.

The fragile cladodes are readily transported on fur and by water.

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, 2019-08-28
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 aurantiaca in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Opuntia aurantiaca in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory