Opuntia dillenii (Ker Gawl.) Haw.
  • Suppl. Pl. Succ.
  • Palmatória

This taxon is accepted by Cactaceae
Notes: More details could be found in The Plant List v.1.1. Originally in The Plant List v.1.0

General Description

Shrubs sprawling or erect, 1-3 m tall. Trunk absent or short. Larger, terminal joints green to gray-green, obovate or elliptic-obovate to suborbicular, 10-35(-40) × 7.5-20(-25) cm. Areoles 2-9 mm in diam. Spines 1-12(-20) per areole on most areoles, spreading, yellow, ± brown banded or mottled, subulate, straight or curved, 1.2-4(-6) cm, basally flattened; glochids yellow. Leaves subulate, 4.5-6 mm, deciduous. Flowers 5-9 cm in diam. Sepaloids greenish with yellow margin, broadly deltoid-obovate to obovate, 10-25 × 6-12 mm, margin entire or slightly crisped, apex mucronate. Petaloids spreading, bright yellow, obovate or cuneate-obovate, 25-30 × 12-20 mm, margin entire or slightly undulate, apex rounded, truncate, or emarginate. Filaments yellow, ca. 12 mm; anthers yellow, ca. 1.5 mm. Style yellow or yellowish, 12-20 mm; stigmas 5, pale green, ca. 4.5 mm. Fruit purple, turbinate to obovoid, 4-6 × 2.5-3(-4) cm, fleshy at maturity, umbilicus deep. Seeds light tan, irregularly orbicular, 4-5 × 4-4.5 mm. Fl. Jun-Oct(-Dec).


Low spreading bushes forming clumps or more upright, up to 2 m tall. Joints flattened, pale green, narrowly elliptic, c. 20 cm long and 10 cm broad; areoles large, 10-12 mm in diam., densely fringed with bristles up to 8 mm long and with white curly wool in the centre; spines up to 20 cm each areole, spreading, varying in length, the longest up to c. 5 cm long, straight or slightly curved, acicular or somewhat flattened, yellow, indistinctly banded when young, becoming brown with age, occasionally absent. Flowers with a slender curved hypanthium, narrowed in lower half; petaloid segments a dirty greenish yellow. Fruit globose, purple, c. 5 cm long, narrowed and curved towards the base, with few areoles; seed c. 5 mm in diam., brownish.


This species from Central America is now widely distributed through cultivation in warmer parts of the Old World. It is recorded as a pest in southern India and Australia. It is fairly common around Pietermaritzburg in Natal.

Common Names



 Information From

Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020
Brazil Flora G (2014): Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020. v393.147. Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro. Dataset/Checklist. doi:10.15468/1mtkaw
  • A Group Brazil Flora, REFLORA Program
World Flora Online Data. 2017.
  • B CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  • C Missouri Botanical Garden
e-Flora of South Africa
e-Flora of South Africa. v1.21. 2018. South African National Biodiversity Institute. http://ipt.sanbi.org.za/iptsanbi/resource?r=flora_descriptions&v=1.21
  • D South African National Biodiversity Institute
World Flora Online consortium
World Flora Online Data. 2018.
  • E CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
International Union for Conservation of Nature
IUCN 2016. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2
  • F See IUCN Terms and conditions of use http://www.iucnredlist.org/info/terms-of-use