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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Dry deciduous forests and scrub jungles, also in the plains. Native of South east America; naturalised in India"
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Brief

Flowering class: Dicot Habit: Shrub Distribution notes: Exotic
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Miscellaneous Details

Fruits edible.
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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Native of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina; intro- duced in disturbed areas in the caribbean Tropical Forest and Asian-Pacific Tropical Forest. Hawaii in Honolulu at Punch Bowl and near Kamehameha School; Florida in Polk Co.

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Range Description

This species is recorded from southeastern and southern Brazil (central-eastern Minas Gerais, southern Espírito Santo, Rio Grande do Sul, and presumably northern Rio de Janeiro), Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern and eastern Argentina (Formosa, Misiones, Chaco, Corrientes, Santa Fe and Entre Ríos). It is frequently planted and naturalized in other areas including northeastern Brazil. It occurs from sea level to 1,000 m asl.
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"Found in wastelands and open grounds. Plains from the coast to 1200m. Common. Native of America, naturalized in the old world tropics."
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"Karnataka: Hassan Kerala: Idukki, Pathanamthitta Tamil Nadu: All districts"
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"
Global Distribution

South East America; naturalised in India

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad, Palakkad

"
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Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Taiwan, Yunnan [native to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay; widely introduced and naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions].
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E. S. America, planted and naturalised widely in Himalaya and India.
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Physical Description

Morphology

"
Flower

Solitary, sessile; yellow with suffused pink in the middle of each perianths. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit

An obovoid berry with spiny areoles; seeds numerous. Fruiting throughout the year.

Field tips

Stem jointed, fleshy, flattened. Spines 1-3 per areoles. Leaves lanceolate, early caducous.

"
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"
Field Tips

Areoles densely woolly brownish-bearing barbed bristles. Spines 1-3 per areole.

Flower

Solitary, yellow, shaded pink. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit

A berry, obovoid. Fruiting throughout the year.

Leaf Shapes

Lanceolate

Leaf Types

Simple

Habit

An armed shrub.

"
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Description

Shrubs or treelike, 1.3-4 m tall. Trunk (when present) terete. Larger, terminal joints glossy green, obovate, narrowly so, obovate-oblong, oblong, or oblanceolate, 10-30 × 7.5-12.5 cm, thin, narrowed basally, margin undulate toward apex. Areoles 3-5 mm in diam. Spines sparse on joint 1 or 2(or 3) per areole, but on main trunk to 12 per areole, erect or spreading, grayish, dark brown tipped, acicular, 1-7.5 cm; glochids brownish, 2-3 mm. Leaves conic, 2-4 mm, deciduous. Flowers 5-7.5 cm in diam. Sepaloids with red midrib and yellow margin, obovate or broadly ovate, 0.8-2.5 × 0.8-1.5 cm, apex rounded or emarginate. Petaloids spreading, yellow to orange, or obovate to oblong-obovate, 2.3-4 × 1.2-3 cm, margin subentire, apex rounded, truncate, or muricate. Filaments greenish, ca. 12 mm; anthers pale yellow, ca. 1 mm. Style greenish, 1.2-2 cm; stigmas 6-10, cream, 4.5-6 mm. Fruit reddish purple, obovoid, 5-7.5 × 4-5 cm, umbilicus slightly depressed. Seeds light tan, irregularly elliptic, ca. 4 × 3 mm. Fl. Apr-Aug.
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Elevation Range

700-1800 m
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Habit: An armed, succulent shrub, upto 1.5m."
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Diagnostic

"Subshrubs, fleshy branches, areoles woolly, spines to 2.5 cm. Leaves subulate or absent. Flowers solitary, sessile; calyx lobes 0.7 cm, ovate, pubescent, tube adnate to ovary; corolla 6 cm across; stamens many, filaments 0.5 to 2 cm; ovary inferior, 3 cm long; ovules many, style to 2 cm, stigma 3-5 lobed. Berry 5 x 3.5 cm, obovoid."
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Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Synonym

Cactus monacanthos Willdenow, Enum. Pl. Suppl. 33. 1814; C. indicus Roxburgh.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs on sand-dunes in open carrasco and restinga, in southern humid and subhumid forests.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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General Habitat

"Dry deciduous forests, also in the plains"
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General Habitat

"Common in wastelands. Plains from the coast to 1200m, Eastern and South America. Planted and naturalized widely in India."
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Seashores, slopes; sea level to 2000 m.
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5

Comments: Three EO's in the United States (Benson 1982).

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: November-March
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Taylor, N.P., Zappi, D., Machado, M. & Braun, P.

Reviewer/s
Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.

Contributor/s

Justification
Opuntia monacantha is listed as Least Concern because it is widespread and abundant, especially outside of Brazil.

History
  • 2002
    Least Concern
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Population

Population
The species is common along the coast but scarcer inland.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Comments: Most cacti subject to horticultural collecting.

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Major Threats
Given its wide range there are various threats to this species, including urban expansion, tourist development, and agricultural expansion in inland areas. However, none of these has a major impact.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species occurs in a number of protected areas.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Folklore

Indigenous Information: Fruits increase appetite.
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Uses

Fruits edible.
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Uses

Fruits increase appetite.
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Wikipedia

Opuntia monacantha

Opuntia monacantha, commonly known as Drooping Prickly Pear, Cochineal Prickly Pear, or Barbary Fig, is a species of plant in the Cactaceae family. It is native to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay and is naturalised in Australia and South Africa. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and sandy shores.

The species was first formally described in 1812 by botanist Adrian Haworth in Synopsis Plantarum Succulentarum. The name Opuntia vulgaris, which is a synonym of Opuntia ficus-indica, has been misapplied to this species in Australia.

References

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Notes

Comments

This species was first recorded in China in 1625.

When describing Opuntia monacantha, Haworth based the name on a plant from Barbados, where only O. dillenii is currently recorded as native. Haworth’s name has now been neotypified to maintain its use in the sense employed here and is the earliest name consistently applied to this widely introduced plant, which is native to SE South America. Haworth cited Cactus monacanthos Willdenow 1814 in synonymy with a "?," but this indication of doubt rules out Willdenow’s untypifiable name as a potential basionym for that of Haworth. An earlier name formerly and widely applied to O. monacantha is O. vulgaris Miller. This confused name has now been typified to become a synonym of O. ficus-indica (Linnaeus) Miller (see Leuenberger, Taxon 42: 419-429).

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