Cactus indicus Roxb.
Cactus monacanthos Willd.
Common Name: Drooping Prickly Pear
Drooping prickly pear is a succulent, evergreen shrub or small tree with painfully sharp spines 1 - 5cm long[
]. The plant grows 1 - 3 metres tall[
The fruits are sometimes harvested from the wild for local consumption, but are not widely appreciated[
]. It has been cultivated in various, mainly drier areas of the tropics and subtropics, where it has escaped from cultivation and become a noxious weed in many of these areas[
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
The plant has long, sharp spines[
Species in this genus generally have numerous minutely barbed glochids (hairs) that are easily dislodged when the plant is touched and they then become stuck to the skin where they are difficult to see and remove. They can cause considerable discomfort[
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil.
Dry sites in agricultural areas, coastland and disturbed soils[
]. A southern humid/subhumid forest element: found in sand-dunes in open carrasco, and open restinga near sea level, sea level up to ca. 1,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of drier areas in the tropics and subtropics.
The plant has escaped from cultivation and become a noxious weed in many areas[
Fruit - raw[
]. A succulent pulp with a slightly sweet flavour[
]. The reddish purple, fleshy fruits are 5 - 7.5cm long, 4 - 5cm in diameter[
The plant has been cultivated for the purpose of enriching the soil and preventing the evaporation of moisture[
]. The plants tendency to escape from cultivation and become a weed make using it in this way unwise in all areas other than its native range[
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