Common name: Drooping Pear, Smooth Tree Pear
Opuntia monacantha (Willd.) Haw. APNI*
Synonyms: Opuntia vulgaris Mill. APNI*
Description: Tree-like plant. Segments ± oblong, compressed, 12–15 cm long, light green and glossy, the upper segments tending to droop.
Leaves 2–3 mm long. Areoles filled with short woolly hairs; glochids brownish; spines 1–4 cm long, erect, usually 2 at most areoles, yellowish to red-brown.
Flowers 3–6 cm diam., perianth yellow with outer segments often with red stripes.
Fruit obovoid, 5–7 cm long, red-purple.
Distribution and occurrence: Chiefly along coastal streams, previously more widespread. Native of S Amer.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *S.A.
Declared Noxious Weed
At one time this was the most widely naturalized prickly pear in Australia, in N.S.W. it has been eradicated from inland districts.
Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept: B.E. Leuenberger (1993)
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.