Opuntia elata Link & Otto ex Salm-Dyck

Riverina Pear

Hort. Dyck. 361 (1834) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect shrub to 3 m high, occasionally with a small trunk. Terminal cladodes compressed, narrowly obovate to obovate or elliptic, 9–32 cm long, 4–14 cm wide, thickish (usually 2–2.8 cm through), glabrous, green and glossy; areoles 12–32 per cladode face, c. 18–55 mm apart, with reddish-brown glochids; spines absent or 1 (rarely 2) per areole on 1 (rarely several) areoles, spreading, 7–48 mm long, 0.7–1.2 mm wide near base, slightly curved towards apex, dark red-brown or reddish-purple with yellowish apex, ageing greyish-brown or pale grey. Flowers (3–)6–9.5 cm diam.; sepaloids distinctly crimsontinged; petaloids spreading or somewhat erect, orange, the outer ones reddish-tinged mostly toward the apex; stamens yellow; style pale yellow, stigmas green; hypanthium smooth, dull. Fruit obovoid, shallowly depressed at apex, 6–8 cm long, 2–2.5 cm diam., smooth, spineless, dull, purple, deciduous, juicy. Flowers late spring–summer.

*CVU, *MuM, *RobP, *VVP. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT. Locally common in far north-western Victoria (e.g. roadsides near Ouyen) and along the Murray River near Red Cliffs, noted also in bushland and along rail-lines near Bacchus Marsh, Werribee and Geelong.

Created by: Val Stajsic, 2017-05-23
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2017-05-24
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 elata in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Opuntia elata in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory