Taxon: Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.

Genus: Opuntia
Family: Cactaceae
  Subfamily: Opuntioideae
      Tribe: Opuntieae
Nomen number: 25840
Place of publication: Gard. dict. ed. 8: Opuntia no. 2. 1768
Comment: an implicit reference to a Linnaean basionym may be assumed fide Melbourne ICN Art 41, Ex. 5
Name Verified on: 28-Aug-2002 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 21-Jan-2014
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA)
Accessions: 196 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • CITES Appendix II: ()
  • Environmental: ornamental (fide Fla Entomol 84:484. 2001; Cact Fam; Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Human food: beverage base (fide Cact Fam)
  • Human food: fruit (fide Cact Fam; Agrociencia 39:395-396. 2005)
  • Human food: vegetable (as vegetable fide Fla Entomol 84:494. 2001)
  • Animal food: fodder (fide Succ Pl Res 6:130; Cact Fam)
  • Fuels: fuelwood (fide F NAmer)
  • Invertebrate food: dye-containing insects (cochineals used as a source of carmine dye fide Econ Bot 47:157. 1993; Cact Fam)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2; Cact Fam)
  • Weed: (fide Econ Bot 47:155; Cactus USCan; Cact Fam; Invasive Pl Spec; Weeds SAfr 2001)

Distributional Range:


    . probable origin Mexico


  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Kenya
    • Macaronesia: Cape Verde; Portugal - Madeira Islands; Spain - Canary Islands
    • Northeast Tropical Africa: Eritrea; Ethiopia
    • Northern Africa: Libya; Morocco; Tunisia
    • South Tropical Africa: Angola
    • Southern Africa: South Africa
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia; Yemen
    • China: China
    • Western Asia: Cyprus; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey
  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia
  • Europe

    • Southeastern Europe: Greece; Italy
    • Southwestern Europe: France; Spain
  • Northern America

    • : Mexico
    • Southwestern U.S.A.: United States - Arizona, - California
  • Pacific

    • North-Central Pacific: United States - Hawaii
  • Southern America

    • Brazil: Brazil
    • Caribbean: Cuba; Guadeloupe; Hispaniola; Netherlands Antilles; Puerto Rico; Trinidad and Tobago - Trinidad
    • Mesoamerica: Nicaragua
    • Southern South America: Argentina; Paraguay
    • Western South America: Bolivia; Ecuador; Peru

  • Cultivated:

    . widely cult.


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