MaltaWildPlants.com by Stephen Mifsud
 
     
   28 May 2022      ()
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Opuntia ficus-indica   (Prickly Pear)


Opuntia ficus-indica  (CACTACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-07 (taxon update: 14-Aug-2017)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2021) Opuntia ficus-indica profile created on Oct-07. Retrieved from MaltaWildPlants.com on 28-May-2022

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Opuntia ficus-indica(L.) Mill.
Published in Gard. Dict. ed 8, no. 2 (1768)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Opuntia ficus-barbarica
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] [Worldplants.de]

Plant Family :

Cactaceae Juss. (The Cactus Family)
9 species from the Cactaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Prickly Pear, Indian Fig, Barbary Fig

Maltese name(s) :

Bajtar tax-xewk, Bajtar tal-Indja, Franċiż

Status for Malta :

Naturalised Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World) and spreads and integrates to form established, non-invasive populations. Species may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (25/Sep/2021)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

May – July

Colour of Flowers:

Yellow, or Med

Name Derivation :

Opuntia:
ficus-indica:

Remarks :

A common Cactus species much used in agriculture for closing field margins which gives the farmer protection from wind and also helps to prevent trespassing into fields. Although it makes delicious fruits, it is not much harvested by farmers. This was introduced from Central America. It is also found as Oputunia ficus-barbarica in some literature.


Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Cultivated for its edible fruit and as a hedge and widely naturalized
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Erect, 3-5 m, with patent branches; joints 20-50 x 10-20 cm, oblong to spathulate-oblong. Leaves 3 mm, subulate; areoles small, whitish; spines usually 0, rarely 1-2, small, pale yellow or white; glochids yellow, numerous, caducous. Flowers 7-10 cm in diameter, bright yellow; filaments pale yellow. Fruit 5-9 cm, ovoid or obovoid, with strongly depressed umbilicus, yellow, red or parti-coloured, edible
Distributional range: Mediterranean region
Native region outside Europe: (Tropical America.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in  the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Doubtful in Portugal
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[nAE AE(G) nAg nAl nAz(M S) nBl Bl(M) nCa Ca(C F G H L P T) nCo nCr nCt nCy Da Fe nGa(F) -Ge nGr He nHs Hs(G S) nIJ Ir nIt nJu nLe nLi nLS nLu nMa nMd Md(D M P) No nSa ?Si nSi(M S) Su nSy nTn Tu(A) Uk(K)]

Links & Further literature (1 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate

Wikipedia

JSTOR

GBIF

Med Checklist

Cat. of Life

EoL

IPNI

World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium

MNHN

Arkive

IUCN

CABI
Contribution to the alien flora of the Maltese Islands: New records, observations on invasive species and taxonomic updates Stephen Mifsud  (2017)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (15 images)
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-0.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-1.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-2.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-3.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-4.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-5.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-6.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-7.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-8.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-9.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-10.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-11.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-12.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-13.
   Opuntia ficus-indica   -   Image Code: OPUFI-14.

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