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Useful Tropical Plants

Opuntia tuna

(L.) Mill.

Cactaceae

+ Synonyms

Cactus tuna L.

Common Name: Tuna

Opuntia tuna
Drawing of a flowering and fruiting plant
Photograph by: Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol. 38: t. 1557 (1813) [S.T. Edwards]
Creative Commons License
Opuntia tuna Opuntia tuna

General Information

Tuna is a spiny, succulent, evergreen, shrubby cactus with spreading branches growing about 1 metre tall[
426
Title
Flowering Plants of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Adams. C.D.
Publisher
University of the West Indies; Jamaica.
Year
1972
ISBN
 
Description
A terse treatment of the flowering plants of Jamaica, with a botanical description of each plant, notes on habitat etc.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible fruit and young stems, which are eaten locally. The plant is also sometimes cultivated[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Known Hazards

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[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Botanical References

529
Title
The Cactaceae
Publication
 
Author
Britton N.L. & Rose J.N.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
The Carnegie Institution of Washington; Washington.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
An immense work in 4 volumes. Many of the botanical names are out of date, of course, but the book contains a wealth of information about the plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

Caribbean - Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Jamaica.

Habitat

Rocky or sandy waste places, gullies and scrubby thickets at elevations from sea level to 120 metres in Jamaica[
426
Title
Flowering Plants of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Adams. C.D.
Publisher
University of the West Indies; Jamaica.
Year
1972
ISBN
 
Description
A terse treatment of the flowering plants of Jamaica, with a botanical description of each plant, notes on habitat etc.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height1.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil.

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Sweet and juicy, it is delicious to eat out of hand and can also be used to make ices, jams, jellies, cakes, sauces etc[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The half-ripe fruit, when dried, has the flavour of green dried apples[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The red, obovoid fruit is about 3cm long[
529
Title
The Cactaceae
Publication
 
Author
Britton N.L. & Rose J.N.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
The Carnegie Institution of Washington; Washington.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
An immense work in 4 volumes. Many of the botanical names are out of date, of course, but the book contains a wealth of information about the plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The tender young stems are boiled and then used as a substitute for string beans in soups, stews, casseroles etc[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-08-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Opuntia+tuna>

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