Opuntia monacantha

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Opuntia monacantha


Taxonavigation: Caryophyllales 
Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Opuntioideae
Tribus: Opuntieae
Genus: Opuntia
Series: O. ser. Armatae
Species: Opuntia monacantha




  • Heterotypic
    • Cactus monacanthos Willd., Enum. Pl. Suppl. 33. 1813.
    • Cactus chinensis Roxb., Fl. Indica 2: 476. 1832.
    • Cactus indicus Roxb., Fl. Indica 2: 475. 1832.
    • Cactus urumbeba Vell., Fl. Flum. 207. 1825.
    • Opuntia arechavaletae Speg., Anales Mus. Nac. Buenos Aires ser. 3, 4: 520. 1905.
    • Opuntia brunneogemmia (F.Ritter) C.Schlindwein, Bradleya 13: 29. 1995.
    • Opuntia lemaireana Console ex F.A.C.Weber in Bois, Dict. Hort. 894. 1898.
    • Opuntia monacantha subsp. brunneogemmia (F.Ritter) P.J.Braun & Esteves, Succulenta (Netherlands) 74: 133. 1995.
    • Opuntia monacantha var. deflexa Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 66. 1850.
    • Opuntia monacantha var. gracilior Lem., Cact. Gen. Nov. Sp. 68. 1839.
    • Opuntia monacantha var. gracilior Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. (1849). 66, 235. 1850.
    • Opuntia monacantha var. variegata Darrah., Coll. Cact. Alexandra Park 57. 1908.
    • Opuntia roxburghiana Voigt, Hort. Suburb. Calcutt. 62. 1845.
    • Opuntia umbrella Steud., Nom. ed. 2. 2: 222. 1841.
    • Platyopuntia brunneogemmia F.Ritter, Kakteen Südamerika 1: 34 (-35), fig. 1979.



The name Opuntia monacantha has been neotypified to represent this species, native to southeast South America. It was originally used by Haworth for Opuntia stricta Mill. In literature, Opuntia vulgaris Mill., often applies to this species, but should be regarded as a synonym to Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.


Native distribution areas:
  • Continental: Southern America
    • Regional: Brazil
      • Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast
    • Regional: Southern South America
      • Paraguay, Uruguay
    • Introduced into:
      • Alabama, Ascension, Assam, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, China South-Central, China Southeast, Corse, Cyprus, Fiji, Florida, France, Galápagos, Georgia, Hawaii, Italy, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Louisiana, Malaya, Mauritius, Mississippi, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, Northern Provinces, Portugal, Rodrigues, Rwanda, Réunion, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Vietnam, West Himalaya

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition



Primary references


Additional references


Vernacular names

English: Drooping Prickly Pear, Cochineal Prickly Pear, Barbary Fig
español: Monducuru, Urumbeba, Arumbeva, Cardo Palmado
lea faka-Tonga: kakatisi
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Opuntia monacantha on Wikimedia Commons.