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Cylindropuntia pallida (Rose) F.M.Knuth
Family Cactaceae
Common name: Hudson Pear

Cylindropuntia pallida (Rose) F.M.Knuth APNI*

Synonyms: Cylindropuntia rosea auct. non (DC.) Backeb. APNI*
Opuntia rosea auct. non DC. APNI*
Opuntia pallida Rose APNI*

Description: Branched cactus to 1.5 m high and to 3 m wide, with cylindrical trunk.

Stem segments green to grey-green, cylindrical, to 90 cm long by 4 cm wide; tubercles pronounced, elongate, to 3 cm long, c. 1 cm wide; areoles elliptic, 3–7 mm long, to c. 3 mm wide; wool tan coloured. Spines 4–8 per areole (to 20 or more on older stems), to 4.5 cm long, enclosed in whitish papery sheaths. Glochids in adaxial tufts, yellowish to tan, 1.5–2.5 mm long.

Flowers pink-purple, c. 5 cm wide; stamens with golden anthers and filaments cream coloured, becoming pinkish towards anthers; stigma pale yellow.

Fruit obovoid, never in chains, 2–4.5 cm long, older fruit with few spines, much less spiny than younger fruit; sterile.

Photo W. Cherry

Photo M. Goodwin

Photo W. Cherry

Flowering: Flowers late spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Most common around the opal fields of Glen Garry, Grawin and Lightning Ridge in North Western Plains (N.S.W.); also naturalised in South Africa; native of Mexico.
NSW subdivisions: *NWP, *NWS
Other Australian states: *Qld *S.A. *W.A.
AVH map***

Plant spreads vegetatively by segments which root where they contact the ground. Cylindropuntia pallida is possibly a hybrid between Cylindropuntia tunicata and another species. Previously known as Cylindropuntia rosea (DC.) Backeb., but Laguna et al. in Bouteloua 16: 40-51 (2013) have shown this name to be misapplied to C. pallida (Rose) F.M.Knuth.

Text by J.R. Hosking (2004)
Taxon concept:

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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