Indian fig (Opuntia ficus-indica)

Also known as: prickly pear

Indian fig is a cactus like plant with no spines. It is grown by gardeners for its edible fruit.

This weed belongs to the group Prickly pears - Opuntias


How does this weed affect you?

Indian fig was brought into Australia from South America almost 200 year ago. The plant has never caused any problems to rural production. It spreads slowly and is easily eradicated.

Indian Fig was removed from the list of prohibited plants in 1978 and its fruit is grown commercially.

What does it look like?

Indian fig can grow upto 7 meters in height. The pads are are bluish-green in colour with no or very few short spines and the flowers are yellow. The plant flowers late spring-summer and the fruit is egg-shaped to oval with depressed top, yellow, orange, red or purple, depending on cultivar, when ripe.

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Herbicide options

Contact your local council weeds officer for control advice for Indian fig (Opuntia ficus-indica).

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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Grazing, conservation and urban areas
Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfill the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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Reviewed 2017