Opuntia leucotricha DC

Aaron's Beard Prickly-pear

Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 17: 118 (1828) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect shrub to 1–3(–4.5) m high with distinct trunk, trunk to 90 cm long, 15–30 cm diam. Terminal cladodes compressed, broadly obovate to suborbicular, 10–30 cm long, 7.5–20 cm wide, dull, usually grey-green, minutely whitish-pubescent (hairs 0.3–0.5 mm long); areoles 30–80 per cladode face, 0.9–2 cm apart, filled with brown wool and brownish glochids; spines spreading to deflexed, 2–6 per areole (8–10 on older cladodes and irregularly curving), white, filiform, flexible, 1.5–4 cm long, c. 0.2 mm wide near base. Flowers c. 5 cm diam.; petaloids spreading, yellow, obovate-cuneate, mucronate, denticulate; stamens yellow; hypanthium tuberculate. Fruit barrel-shaped, 2.5–3 cm long and wide, tuberculate, minutely pubescent, spinose, light yellowish to reddish. Flowers late spring–summer.

*MuM. Also naturalised SA, Qld. Indigenous to central Mexico. Known in Victoria by 1 collection (1978) from a roadside at Merbein West, but also noted in abandoned garden at Hattah.

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, 2018-02-12
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 leucotricha in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Opuntia leucotricha in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia