Prickly pears - Opuntias (Opuntia species)

Also known as: Opuntoid cacti

Profile

How does this weed affect you?

The most commonly known members of the opuntoid cacti group referred to generally as prickly pears, Opuntia species were first introduced into Australia with the first fleet, via Brazil, to establish a cochineal dye industry. By 1920 Opuntia stricta had infested 23,000,000 hectares in NSW and Queensland. Half of the infested area was so densely covered it was useless for production and was abandoned by its owners. 

Opuntia species have been declared Weeds of National Signficance in Australia. See Related weeds for details of individual Opuntia species.

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Control

Herbicide options

Contact your local council weeds officer for control advice for Prickly pears - Opuntias (Opuntia species).

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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.
All of NSW Prohibition on dealings
Must not be imported into the State or sold
Except for Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig)
Central West Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
This Regional Recommended Measure applies to all species of Opuntia except for Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig)
South East
Core infestation area: whole region except the exclusion zone of Wollongong, Kiama, and Shellharbour, and Eurobadalla
Regional Recommended Measure*
Whole region: Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Core infestation: Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
This Regional Recommended Measure applies to all species of Opuntia except for Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig)
Western Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
This Regional Recommended Measure applies to all species of Opuntia except for Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig)
*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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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW Invasive Plants and Animals Enquiry Line on 1800 680 244 or send an email to weeds@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Reviewed 2017