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Prickly Pear (Opuntia species)

Prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) is declared noxious in the Illawarra District Weeds Authority control area (including Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong council areas).

Indian fig (Opuntia ficus indica) is exempt from declaration

The weed control class is 4. This means that:

"The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread and the plant must not be sold, propogated or knowingly distributed".

Description: Twelve species of Opuntia and 2 species of Harrisia cactus are naturalized in NSW.  All are declared noxious except for Indian Fig (Opuntia ficusinddica), which is grown as a commercial crop.  Natives of Southern and Central America, Tiger pear, Harrisia cactus and Common Pest Pear pose the greatest problems.  Most are erect succulent shrubs up to 1-2m high, capable of reproducing by seed and/or from branch segments.  Segments or stems, commonly referred to as the leaves are armed with numerous bristles and/or spines.  Flowers may be white, yellow or red with fruit typically red and pear shaped.

Problem: Very invasive. Can restrict stock movements and reduce stocking rates. Can be debilitating to stock, dogs and humans, particularly Tiger Pear. Can grow in dense impenetrable thickets.

Control Plan: Click here

For more detailed information  click here