Nopalea cochenillifera

(Linnaeus) Salm-Dyck

Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849, 64. 1850.

Common names: Nopal chamacuero cochineal nopal cactus tunita
IntroducedIllustrated
Basionyms: Cactus cochenilliferus Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 1: 468. 1753 (as cochenillifer)
Synonyms: Opuntia cochenillifera (Linnaeus) Miller
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 149. Mentioned on page 144.

Shrubs or trees to 4–5 m; trunks 15–20 cm diam. Stem segments linear to narrowly obovate, sometimes slightly falcate, (10–) 15–35 (–50) × 5–15 cm; areoles 2–3+ cm apart, 2–5 mm diam.; wool tawny, whitening with age. Spines usually absent or 1 (–3), particularly on older pads, straight or curved, brown, aging gray, stout, to 2 cm. Glochids inconspicuous. Flowers 4–7 cm; inner tepals spatulate; crowded pink filaments and white style much longer than tepals, to 15 mm; nectar chamber elliptic to obconic. Fruits ellipsoid, 25–40 × 20–25 mm; areoles well distributed. Seeds tan to gray, 3–5 × 1.5–3 mm, slightly pubescent. 2n = 22 (Mexico, Puerto Rico as an escape).


Phenology: Flowering winter (Sep–Mar).
Habitat: Hammocks, fields, sandy soils
Elevation: 0 m

Distribution

V4 290-distribution-map.gif

Introduced; Fla., Mexico, West Indies (Cuba), West Indies (Puerto Rico), Central America (Panama)

Discussion

The stem segments, or pads, of Nopalea cochenillifera are used as food, fodder, and poultices, and for rearing cochineal insects to obtain a red dye (once a major industry). This species may have been selected for spinelessness in Mexico, much like Opuntia ficus-indica, to ease the culturing and collection of cochineal scale insects for red dye.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

... more about "Nopalea cochenillifera"
cushionlike +
distributed +  and apart +
nearly +  and circular +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
elliptic +  and subcircular +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
Donald J. Pinkava +
(Linnaeus) Salm-Dyck +
Cactus cochenilliferus +
600 cm6,000 mm <br />6 m <br /> (1,000 cm10,000 mm <br />10 m <br />) +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
Nopal chamacuero +, cochineal nopal cactus +  and tunita +
Fla. +, Mexico +, West Indies (Cuba) +, West Indies (Puerto Rico) +  and Central America (Panama) +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br />) +
7 cm70 mm <br />0.07 m <br /> (10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br />) +
4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br /> (7 cm70 mm <br />0.07 m <br />) +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
spiny +  and spineless +
purplish;red +
indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
25mm;40mm +
tuberculate +
ellipsoid +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br />) +
inconspicuous +
Hammocks, fields, sandy soils +
deciduous +
flattened +  and conic +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
succulent +
tuberculate +
fluted;spheric;depressed-spheric or club-shaped +
sometimes covered by outgrowths of proximal portion of style base or of flower tube wall +  and open +
consecutive +
persistent +  and deciduous +
Flowering winter (Sep–Mar). +
yellow +  and pink +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
Cact. Hort. Dyck. +
3;2;2;30 +
tuberlike +
Tan (?) +  and Gray (?) +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.55 cm5.5 mm <br />0.0055 m <br />) +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
smooth +  and lumpy +
notched;flattened +
0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
Introduced +  and Illustrated +
not sheathed +
gray +  and brown +
curved +  and straight +
deciduous +  and persistent +
conspicuous +
hairlike +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br />) +
hard +  and rigid +
decurrent +
winged +  and unsegmented +
tuberculate +  and smooth +
35 cm350 mm <br />0.35 m <br /> (50 cm500 mm <br />0.5 m <br />) +
10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (35 cm350 mm <br />0.35 m <br />) +
5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
segmented +
woody +  and succulent +
pink +  and light green +
white +  and pink +
extended +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br />) +
thickening +
Opuntia cochenillifera +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Nopalea cochenillifera +
species +
dull +  and glossy +
15cm;20cm +
simple +  and many branched +
tree +  and shrub +
terrestrial;epiphytic or epipetric +
whitening +  and tawny +