Click on images to enlarge
habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
stem segments (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
stem segment with spines (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
flower buds and immature fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
mature fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
Opuntia elatior Mill.
Opuntia bergeriana A. Weber ex A. Berger
prickly pear, red-flower prickly pear
Native to Central America (i.e. Costa Rica and Panama), the Caribbean and tropical South America (i.e. Venezuela and Colombia).
This species is scattered throughout many parts of southern and central Australia. It has been recorded as naturalised in south-eastern Queensland, in some parts of New South Wales, in Victoria, in some parts of South Australia and in the southern parts of the Northern Territory. However, it is poorly collected and its distribution may be more widespread than herbarium collections would indicate (e.g. there are also reports that it is naturalised on offshore islands in Western Australia).
Red-flower prickly pear (Opuntia elatior) is regarded as a potential environmental weed or "sleeper weed" in many parts of Australia. Like other prickly pears (Opuntia spp.), this species is spread by bird-dispersed seeds and can form dense thickets of fleshy segments. It is mainly seen as a potential problem in semi-arid areas and drier coastal habitats.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved. Identic Pty Ltd. Special edition of Environmental Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland.
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