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Cylindropuntia tunicata (Lehm.) F.M.Knuth
Family Cactaceae
Cylindropuntia tunicata (Lehm.) F.M.Knuth APNI*

Synonyms: Cactus tunicatus Lehm. APNI*
Opuntia tunicata (Lehm.) Link & Otto APNI*

Description: Shrubs, densely branched, 0.3–0.6 m high.

Stem segments easily detached, whorled or subwhorled, pale green to green, 5–20(-25) cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm wide; tubercles very prominent, broad, 2–3 cm long; areoles obdeltate, 4.5–8 mm long, 2.5–5 mm wide; wool yellow-tan, aging gray. Spines 5–12 per areole, at most areoles, spreading, obscuring stems, yellow, acicular, larger ones 3–6 cm long; sheaths persisting, yellow to tan, loosely fitting, 2–4 mm diam. Glochids in small adaxial tuft, pale yellow, 0.5–1.2 mm long.

Flowers: inner tepals yellow to yellow-green, spatulate, 15–20 mm long, apiculate; filaments yellowish; anthers yellow; style green to reddish; stigma lobes yellow-green to green.

Fruits usually sterile, not proliferating, yellow to yellow-green, often tinged red, top-shaped to clavate, 25–50 mm long, 8–15 mm wide, pulpy, tuberculate, spineless or sometimes weakly spined; tubercles subequal; umbilicus 5–7 mm deep; areoles 32–40. Seeds light tan, ± obovate, to 2.5 mm long, c. 2 mm wide; girdle smooth.

Photo W. Cherry

Photo W. Cherry

Photo W. Cherry

Flowering: Flowers spring.

Distribution and occurrence: North Western Plains around the Grawin opal fields; also naturalised in northern Victoria; Native of southern U.S.A. and Mexico
NSW subdivisions: *NWP
Other Australian states: *Vic. *S.A.
Declared Noxious Weed
AVH map***

Text by B.J. Conn (2004)
Taxon concept: Donald J. Pinkava (2004)

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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