Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Opuntia monacantha
(Willd.) Haw., Cactaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Opuntia aurantiaca: Reject, score: 22 (Go to the risk assessment)

Opuntia robusta: Reject, score: 20 (Go to the risk assessment)

Opuntia monacantha: Reject, score: 20 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Opuntia vulgaris auct. mult.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: dan ci xian ren zhang

English: common prickly pear, drooping prickly pear

Habit:  cactus

Description:  "Shrubs or small trees up to 4 m tall, often with a definite trunk; joints glossy green when fresh, narrowly obovate to oblong-lanceolate, the base somewhat cuneate, 10-35 cm long, 7.5-12.5 cm wide, margins undulate toward apex.  Areoles with 1-2 (3) gray or yellowish to reddish brown spines with darker tips, 1-7.5 cm long, trunk areoles sometimes with 10 or more spines.  Flowers 7.5-10 cm long, 5-7.5 cm in diameter; outer perianth parts yellow with a reddish median stripe, 18-25 mm long, 12-15 mm wide, inner perianth parts yellow to orange, rotate, 25-40 mm long, 12-40 mm wide; staminal filaments green to white; style green, 12-20 mm long; stigma lobes 8-10, cream yellow.  Berries reddish purple, fleshy, conical to obovoid, 5-7.5 cm long, 4-5 cm in diameter" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 420).

Habitat/ecology:  Dry sites.  In Fiji, "this species has become a frequent adventive as a perennial shrub 0.5-4 m high, often found in agricultural areas or on waste land near sea level" (Smith, 1981; p. 271).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Southeastern South America.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 193)
Opuntia sp.
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 76)
Opuntia sp.
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 69)
Opuntia sp.
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 193)
Opuntia sp.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Fiji Islands introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 271)
Opuntia vulgaris
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 193)
Opuntia sp.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 420)
Voucher cited: Judd s.n. (BISH)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 99)
Opuntia sp.
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 110)
Opuntia sp.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 94)
Opuntia sp.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
Gargominy, Oliver/Bouchet, Philipe/Pascal, Michel/Jaffre, Tanguy/Tourneu, Jean-Christophe (1996) (p. 379)
Opuntia sp.
Espèces envahissantes (bosquets et fourrés) peu nombreuses mais difficiles à déterminer.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
Opuntia vulgaris
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 54)
O. compressa? Voucher cited: CHR 169752
Palau
Hatohobei Group
Tobi Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 110)
Opuntia sp.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 193)
Opuntia sp.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 104)
Opuntia sp.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Opuntia sp.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngercheu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 108)
(Carp Resort) Opuntia sp.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Opuntia sp.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 106)
Opuntia sp.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 130)
In sandy soil near the beach.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Opuntia sp.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 54)
Opuntia sp.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Queensland Herbarium (2002) (p. 5)
Also present and invasive: Opuntia aurantiaca (tiger pear), Opuntia imbricata (rope pear) and Opuntia tomentosa velvet tree pear)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Seashores, slopes; sea level to 2000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan.
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 453)
"Cliffs, sandy beaches".
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Seashores, slopes; sea level to 2000 m.

Comments:  Declared noxious weeds in Fiji and Samoa. O. vulgaris is moderately invasive in these two locations (Meyer, 2000).


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This page was created on 5 AUG 2002 and was last updated on 17 APR 2009.