Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea (Engelm. & J.M.Bigelow) B.D.Parfitt

Mojave Prickly-pear

Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 70: 188 (1998)

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Spreading to ascending, clump-forming shrub to c. 0.8 m high; trunk absent or poorly developed. Terminal cladodes compressed, elliptic to obovate, 8–15 cm long, 4–8 cm wide, dull, light grey-green; areoles up to c. 60 per cladode face, c. 0.4–0.7 cm apart, filled with short yellowish or tan glochids; spines 4–7(–9) present in all areoles, mostly deflexed, slightly twisted, flexible, 3–7(–10) cm long, c. 0.5 mm wide near base, almost filiform but essentially subulate, at least some spines basally elliptic in cross-section, slightly barbed, white or pale grey. Flowers 4.5–7.5 cm diam.; sepaloids greenish with reddish or yellow margins; petaloids spreading, yellow, apices rounded to subacute; filaments yellow, anthers yellow; style pale yellow, stigma green; hypanthium spiny. Fruit obovoid-cylindroid, 2.5–3 cm long, 1.2–2 cm diam., shallowly depressed at apex, tuberculate, yellow, dry, deciduous when ripe. Flowers late spring–summer.

*MuM, *VVP. Also naturalised in SA. Native to western and southern United States of America. In Victoria, known from two small populations, at Bacchus Marsh, where growing in degraded roadside, and at Mildura, opposite the C.S.I.R.O. Merbein South office, where growing in Maireana dominated shrubland.

Created by: Val Stajsic, 2017-07-25
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-12
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Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced