Opuntia vulgaris Miller Gard Dict ed 8 No 1 1768

Cactus monacanthos Willdenow, Enum. Pl. Suppl. 33. 1813.

Opuntia monacantha Haworth, Suppl. Pl. Succ. 81. 1819.

Cactus urumbeba Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 207. 1825.

Cactus indicus Roxburgh, Fl. Indica 2: 475. 1832.

Cactus chinensis Roxburgh, Fl. Indica 2: 476. 1832.

Opuntia monacantha gracilior Lemaire, Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 68. 1839.

Opuntia umbrella Steudel, Nom. ed. 2. 2: 222. 1841.

Opuntia roxburghiana Voigt, Hort. Suburb. Calcutt. 62. 1845.

Opuntia monacantha deflexa Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 66. 1850.

Opuntia lemaireana Console in Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 894. 1898.

Plant 2 to 4 or even 6 meters high, often with a definite trunk, usually with a large much branched top; trunk cylindric, 1.5 dm. in diameter, either spiny or smooth; joints ovate to oblong, narrowed at base, 1 to 3 dm. long, bright shining green; leaves subulate, 2 to 3 mm. long; areoles filled with short wool; glochids brownish; spines 1 or 2, sometimes more (on the trunk often 10 or more) from an areole, erect, 1 to 4 cm. long, yellowish brown to dark reddish brown; flowers yellow or reddish, 7.5 cm. broad; sepals broad, each with a broad red stripe down the middle; petals golden-yellow, widely 'spreading; filaments greenish; style white; stigma-lobes 6, white; ovary spineless, 3.5 cm. long; fruit obovoid, 5 to 7.5 cm. long, reddish purple, long-persisting, sometimes proliferous.

Type locality: Type based on an illustration, the origin unknown.

Distribution: Coast and islands of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina; in the interior to Paraguay; an escape in Cuba, India, and south Africa and naturalized in Australia; frequently cultivated. According to J. H. Maiden it is found in every state of Australia, but it is not inclined to spread and become a pest.

As has been recently pointed out by Burkill, the Opuntia vulgaris of Miller is the same as O. monacantha Haworth. O. vulgaris was based on Bauhin's figure (Hist. Pl. 1: 154. 1650), which was taken from Lobelius (Icones 2: 241. 1591), and is a tall, branching plant. This species is not to be confused with the low, spreading species of the eastern United States, long known as O. vulgaris. (See. p. 127.)

This species is said by Burkill to be distributed over the earth more widely than any other, but our observation in America is that O. f icus-indica is by far the most widely spread species.

Akar Kaktus Opuntia Vulgaris Mill

1. Upper part of fruiting joint of Opuntia schumannii. 3. Flowering joint of Opuntia vulgaris.

2. Flower of Opuntia schumannii. 4. Flowering joint of Opuntia stricta.

(All natural size.)

O. vulgaris was one of those most commonly used in the nopalries of India and South Africa in the cochineal industry.

We have referred both of Roxburgh's species here, although Burkill was inclined to refer Cactus chinensis to O. decumana, which in his sense is O. ficus-indica.

Opuntia monacantha variegata (listed in Cat. Darrah Succ. Manchester 57. 1908) is common in cultivation. Some of the joints are normally green; others are more or less blotched with white or yellow, while others may be entirely white or yellow; the leaves are bright red and though small are conspicuous.

Opuntia urumbella Steudel (Nom. ed. 2. 1: 246. 1840), given as a synonym of Cactus urumbella, is doubtless a name for this species.

Opuntia deflexa Lemaire (Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 68. 1839) was given as a synonym of O. monacantha gracilior; while the latter was given as a synonym of O. elatior deflexa Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1844. 47. 1845).

Illustrations: Rev. Hort. 41: f. 37; 66: f. 58; Bauhin, Hist. Pl. 1: 154 [=Lobelius, Icones 2: 241], this last as Opuntia vulgo, etc. Anal. Mus. Nac. Montevideo 5: pl. 32; Curtis's Bot. Mag. 68: pl. 3911; Dept. Agr. N. S. W. Misc. Publ. 253: pl. [3], [4]; Agr. Gaz. N. S. W. 24: facing p. 864; Edwards's Bot. Reg. 20: pl. 1726; Gard. Chron. III. 30: f. 122, in part; 34: f. 35; Journ. Dept. Agr. Vict. 6: pl. 25; Martius, Fl. Bras. 42: pl. 62; Weeds, Pois. Pl. Nat. Al. Vict. pt. i. pl. [10], [32], all as Opuntia monacantha; Amer. Garden 11: 529; Cact. Journ. 1: 167, these last two as Opuntia monacantha variegata; Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 5: pl. 32, as Cactus urumbe-ba; De Candolle, Pl. Succ. Hist. 2: pl. 138 [B]; De Tussac, Fl. Antill. 2: pl. 31, these last two as Cactus opuntia tuna; Gard. Chron. III. 47: f. 174, this as Opuntia ficus-indica; Rümpler, Sukkulenten f. 122, this as Opuntia tuna; Addisonia 1: pl. 38.

Plate xxvii, figure 3, represents a flowering joint of a plant presented to the New York Botanical Garden by Mr. Gustav Rix in 1900.

Fig. 196.—O. elata. X0.4.

165. Opuntia elata Link and Otto in Salm-Dyck, Hort. Dyck. 361.


An erect plant, 1 meter high or more; joints thick, dark green, oblong, 5 to 25 cm. long, half as broad as long; leaves minute, caducous; areoles remote, large (7 mm. in diameter), filled with short white wool, usually spineless; spines if present only 1 to 3, except on old stems and there more, horn-colored, stiff, sometimes 3.5 cm. long; glochids very tardy in appearing, long persistent; flowers about 5 cm. broad, orange-yellow; petals obtuse, broad; filaments short; stigma-lobes white; fruit oblong, 6 cm. long, spineless, with a truncate umbilicus; seeds 6 mm. broad.

Type locality: In Brazil.

Distribution: Paraguay, but according to Salm-Dyck and Pfeiffer, from Brazil and probably Curaçao; our exploration of Curaçao failed to prove its existence there. It is grown for ornament in Cuba and has there escaped from cultivation in gardens to roadsides and waste grounds.

Schumann did not know where to place this species, but we believe it is most nearly related to Opuntia vulgaris.

Plate xxvi, figure 4, represents a flowering joint of a plant given to the New York Botanical Garden by Frank Weinberg in 190 3; figure 5 represents another joint of the same plant. Figure 196 represents a joint of a 'plant obtained by Professor Carlos de la Torre at Punta de los Molinos, Cuba, in 1912.

166. Opuntia cardiosperma Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 9: 150. 1899.

About 2 meters high, erect, branching; joints narrowly oblong to obovate; rounded at apex, 10 to 15 cm. long or smaller in greenhouse specimens, easily breaking apart, pale green, more or less tuberculate; leaves minute, subulate; areoles large, 1 to 2 cm. apart, with white wool, when young having conspicuous secreting glands; spines, when present, 1 to 4, acicular, stiff, more commonly 1 or 2 from an areole, short, 1 to 2 cm. long, brownish at first but nearly white when old, porrect or ascending; glochids tardily developing, never conspicuous, brownish; flowers unknown; fruit elongated, pear-shaped, 7.5 cm. long; seeds 6 mm. broad, 2.5 to 3 mm. thick, cordate, gray, with broad yellow margins, woolly on the sides.

Type locality: At Recoleta, near Asunción, Paraguay. Distribution: Paraguay.

Figure 197 represents joints of the plant sent to the New York Botanical Garden from La Mortola, Italy, in 19 13.

167. Opuntia arechavaletai Spegazzini, Anal. Mus. Nac. Buenos Aires. III. 4: 520. 1905.

Plants tall, 1 to 3 meters high, much branched; joints flattened, oblong to obovate, 25 to 30 cm. long, green; spines, usually 1, sometimes 3, elongated, porrect, up to 9 cm. long, white, flattened; flowers 4.5 cm. long, yellow; stamens and style white; fruit violet-purple, 7 cm. long.

Type locality: Near Montevideo, Uruguay. Distribution: Argentina and Uruguay. Illustration: Anal. Mus. Nac. Montevideo 5: pl. 35.

168. Opuntia mieckleyi Schumann, Blühende Kakteen 1: pl. 44. 1903.

Plant erect, much branched; joints narrowly oblong, 15 to 25 cm. long, 4 to 6 cm. broad, glabrous, dark green, darker below the areoles; tubercles rather prominent; leaves small; areoles large, filled with white wool; spines, when present, 1 or 2, very short (5 mm. long), dark-colored; flower buds obtuse; flowers brick-red, 6 cm. broad; petals irregularly notched; ovary spineless.

Type locality: In Paraguay.

Distribution: Paraguay; Estancia Loma, in San Salvador. Named for W. Mieckley, gardener in the Berlin Botanical Garden. Illustration: Blühende Kakteen 1: pl. 44.

169. Opuntia bonaerensis Spegazzini, Contr. Fl. Tandil 18. 1904.

Opuntia chakensis Spegazzini, Anal. Mus. Nac. III. 4: 519. 1905.

Two meters high, very much branched; joints spatulate to elliptic-spatulate, 15 to 25 cm. long, green; spines wanting or one, short; flowers orange, large, 4 cm. long; fruit obconic, 6 to 7 cm. long, dull purple; seeds 5 to 6 mm. long, subglobose.

Type locality: Sierra de Curamalal, Argentina. Distribution: Argentina and perhaps Paraguay.

Opuntia paraguayensis Schumann (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 9: 149. 1899) according to Spegazzini, and if so this name would supplant O. bonaerensis. Illustration: Anal. Mus. Nac. Montevideo 5: pl. 23.

The three following, known to us only from descriptions, may belong to this series.

Opuntia STENARTHRA Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 9: 149. 1899. Shrubby, erect or decumbent, creeping over stones or ascending trees; joints thin, narrow, yellowish green, oblong to lanceolate, rounded at base, glabrous; spines either wanting or 1 to 3 from an areole, stoutish, subangular; flowers yellow; seeds woolly.

Type locality: Estancia Tagatiya, Paraguay. Distribution: Paraguay.

Opuntia assumptions Schumann, Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 9: 153. 1899.

Erect, 1 meter high; joints obovate, narrowed at base, thickish; spines at areoles on the faces of the joints none, but on the edges 1 or 2, stout, subulate, the upper one stouter, 3 to 4.5 cm. long; flower 3.5 cm. long, lemon-yellow; fruit pear-shaped, with a deep umbilicus; seeds densely villous.

Type locality: Asunción, Paraguay.

Distribution: Known only from the type locality. Opuntia canterai Arechavaleta, Anal. Mus. Nac. Montevideo 5: 278. 1905.

Stems erect, branching, 5 to 10 dm. high; joints elongated, shining green, attenuate below, 15 to 20 cm. long, 4 to 6 cm. broad; areoles orbicular, when young each surrounded by a violet spot, mostly spineless, about 4 cm. apart; spines, when present, 1 or 2 from an areole, 1.5 to 2 cm. long, whitish, with brownish tips; flowers orange-colored, 4 to 4.5 cm. broad; stigma-lobes 6 or 7, light flesh-colored; fruit somewhat pear-shaped, 5 cm. long; seeds flattened.

Type locality: In Uruguay.

Distribution: Along the coast of Uruguay.

In Uruguay this species flowers in January and February.


A single bushy species, with broad, thin, persistent joints, the areoles close together, each bearing several yellow, acicular spines and long white or yellow hairs. Its home is unknown.

170. Opuntia scheeri Weber, Dict. Hort. Bois 895. 1898.

About I meter high, branching at base, the lower branches sprawling over the ground; joints oblong to orbicular, 1.5 to 3 dm. long, bluish green; areoles circular, elevated, filled with short brown wool; spines 10 to 12, yellow, acicular, each surrounded by a row of long white or yellow hairs; flowers large, pale yellow, but in age salmon-colored; stigma-lobes deep green; fruit globular, red, juicy, truncate; seed small, 4 mm. broad, with a broad irregular margin.

known to us only from Fig. i98.—Opuntia scheeri. X0.5.

Type locality: In Mexico.

Distribution: Mexico, but cultivated specimens.

This is a very beautiful species, covered as it is by yellow spines and long hairs. A fine plant is growing in the open at La Mortola, Italy. The seedlings produce a long mass of soft white hairs almost covering the joints and giving an appearance very different from the adult plant. In this young stage, according to Mr. Alwin Berger, they readily pass for Opuntia senilis (O. crinifera).

Figure 198 represents a joint from a specimen sent from La Mortola, Italy, in 1912.


Mostly bushy or tall species, with large, flat, persistent joints, and yellow spines which are sometimes brown at base, some species spineless or nearly so. We recognize thirteen species as composing the series, but many more have been described. The plants inhabit the southern United States, the West Indies, Mexico, and northern South America.

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