Cylindropuntia tunicata (Lehm.) F.M.Knuth

Brown-spined Hudson Pear

in Backeberg & F.M.Knuth, Kaktus-ABC 126 (1935) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Low, spreading shrub, 30–60 cm high, trunk usually absent. Terminal cladodes cylindric, 5–25 cm long, 2.5–3 cm wide, tuberculate, glabrous, dull grey-green, readily disarticulating; tubercles prominent, laterally compressed, 1.5–3 cm long, 3.5–6 mm wide, 7.5–10.5 mm high; areoles 1.5–2.5 cm apart, apical on tubercles, filled with short white wool and small pale brown glochids; spines 4–10 per areole, spreading, to 5 cm long, 0.6–1.1 mm wide near base, reddish-brown, yellow-brown apically, each covered by a yellowish, translucent, papery sheath c. 1.5 mm diam. Flowers 2.5–3.5 cm diam., yellow; staminal filaments yellow; style white, stigma pale yellow; hypanthium tuberculate. Fruit more or less barrel-shaped, tuberculate c. 2.5 cm long, 1.5 cm diam., deeply depressed apically, spineless, yellow suffused red.  Flowers late spring–summer.

*MuM. Also naturalised in  WA, SA, Qld., NSW. Indigenous to Mexico and possibly Texas. It also occurs in Ecuador and Chile, where it is probably naturalized. Known in Victoria only from Natya (between Swan Hill and Robinvale), and Gunners Tank Bush Reserve/roadsides (near Underbool), but reported also from Mittyack (Hosking et al. 1988).

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 (as Opuntia tunicata var. tunicata).
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2017-07-25

Anderson, E.F. (2001). The Cactus Family, Timber Press.

Benson, L. (1982). The cacti of the United States and Canada, Stanford University Press.

Chinnock, R.J. (2015). Feral opuntioid cacti in Australia: Part 1. Cylindrical-stemmed genera: Austrocylindropuntia, Cylindropintia and Corynopuntia, State Herbarium of South Australia.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Cactaceae
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cylindropuntia tunicata in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cylindropuntia tunicata in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales