Weed profile: Prickly pear - Weed of National Significance
Opuntia species except O. ficus-indica
Prickly pear is the common term for many cactus species. It has had a long history in NSW with plants being bought in with the First Fleet to start a cochineal dye industry. Following that, prickly pear was widely promoted and grown as a source of stock fodder during periods of drought. It subsequently spread over large areas of NSW as a result.
All prickly pear species cause painful injury to animals or humans and can spread quickly to take over large areas of land. Management is difficult and requires the integration of appropriate biological control options, cultural control and herbicide application.
Other types of prickly pear declared noxious in NSW;
- Declared in NSW under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 (view details)
- Weed of National Significance (definition)