Opuntia exaltata A. Berger

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Opuntia exaltata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Camp Amalinda, Matobo

Opuntia exaltata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Camp Amalinda, Matobo

Opuntia exaltata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Camp Amalinda, Matobo

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Synonyms: Austrocylindropuntia exaltata (A. Berger) Backeb.
Common names:
Status: Introduced; doubtfully naturalized
Much-branced, spiny, succulent shrub, 2-5 m high. Cladodes curved cylindrical, tuberculate. Spines clustered 1-3 together arising from white woolly pits, straight an solid, up to 5o mm long, yellowish-brown. Leaves fleshy, up to 12 cm long but usually only up to 6 cm , persistent. Flower orange-red or greenish-yellow. Fruit pear-shaped, c. 9 cm long.
Notes: Several specimens seen around Camp Amalinda in the Matobo Hills that looked rather well naturalized. This species is listed as a declared weed and a potential transformer in South Africa. It is also known as an invasive species in parts of Kenya and Tanzania.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Planted in wild looking rocky areas in safari camps and possibly escaping.
Altitude range: (metres) 1300 - 1400 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia
Zimbabwe distribution: W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 27 December 2014

Bromilow, C. (2010). Problem Plants and Alien Weeds of South Africa Briza Publications, South Africa Page 53.

Henderson, L. (2001). Alien weeds and invasive plants Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa. Page 88. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Opuntia exaltata:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Opuntia exaltata

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Opuntia exaltata
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Opuntia exaltata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Opuntia exaltata
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Opuntia exaltata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Opuntia exaltata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Opuntia exaltata
JSTOR Plant Science: Opuntia exaltata
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Opuntia exaltata
Plants of the World Online: Opuntia exaltata
Tropicos: Opuntia exaltata
Wikipedia: Opuntia exaltata

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Opuntia exaltata.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=218120, retrieved 20 May 2024

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