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Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.
Family Cactaceae
Common name: Indian Fig, Spineless Cactus

Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. APNI*

Synonyms: Opuntia paraguayensis K.Schum. APNI*
Opuntia vulgaris Mill. APNI*

Description: Large bushy shrub or often with a definite trunk and tree-like. Segments obovate, compressed, 30–50 cm long, 10–20 cm wide, green. Leaves to 3 mm long, shed early. Areoles small, distant, spines usually absent; glochids yellow, numerous, soon falling.

Flowers bright yellow, 7–10 cm diam.

Fruit ovoid, depressed at apex, 5–9 cm long, red.


Illustration
M. Flockton

Flower
Photo W. Cherry

Fruit
Photo E. Brown

Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated for its edible fruit; sporadic escape from cultivation. Probably native of southern N Amer.; widely naturalized in trop. regions of the world.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *CWS, *SWP, *NFWP
Other Australian states: *Vic. *S.A.
AVH map***

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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