Summary details for Cylindropuntia pallida

Rosea cactus

Cylindropuntia pallida

Common names: Rosea cactus (English); Roseakaktus (Afrikaans)

Origin: Mexico

Description

A densely and fiercely spiny, much-branched succulent shrub branching from near the base, up to 1.5m high. Stems grey-green to green, 3-4 cm across, lumpy (tubercular). Spines flattened, carried in dense groups of up to 9, up to 40mm long, silver-grey to yellowish or reddish, with loose, white papery sheaths. Flowers pink, up to 4mm long. Fruit greenish to yellowish, succulent, very lumpy, with a few fine spines, carried at branch tips.

Discussion

This is a highly invasive species that is difficult to eradicate once it gets big, and it forms dense stands that crowd out all other plants, especially in disturbed areas. It spreads via segments that easily fall and root, and individual fruit can root to form new plants as well. It is a declared category 1 weed in South Africa and is also a declared category 2 weed in Australia.

Cylindropuntia pallida
Cylindropuntia pallida © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Cylindropuntia pallida
Cylindropuntia pallida © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Cylindropuntia pallida
Cylindropuntia pallida © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer