Localities documented in Tropicos sources
Madagascar (Africa & Madagascar)
Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Opuntia microdasys
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Opuntia microdasys
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Opuntia microdasys has no spines, but instead has numerous white or yellow glochids 2–3 mm long in dense clusters; these glochids are barbed and thinner than the finest human hairs, detaching in large numbers apon the slightest touch. If not removed they will cause considerable skin irritation, so the plants must be treated with caution. Despite this, it is a very popular cactus in cultivation.
Glochids should be removed as soon as possible, before the onset of contact dermatitis which may persist for months if left untreated.
To minimize the potential misery, keep your hands wet while dealing with any plant with glochids like this.
The water on your wet skin softens on contact the tips of the very fine glochids,dramatically reducing their ability to actually penetrate the skin and stick. See Removal of glochidia
- Species comparison gallery