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*Opuntia monacantha (Willdenow) Haworth. Common Prickly-pear. Hab: Disturbed areas, sometimes persistent or escaping from horticultural use. Dist: Native of South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay). Although O. monacantha can form trees to several meters high, those found in FL typically are smaller, erect shrubs – maybe a result of environmental conditions.

Origin/Endemic status: Neotropics

Other Comments: Reports of O. monacantha from numerous states are erroneous and based on the misinterpretation of the invalid name, O. vulgaris, which has been used for both O. humifusa and O. monacantha (see Leuenberger 1993).

Synonymy: = FNA4, K1, K2, K4; = Opuntia monacanthos – WH3; >< Opuntia vulgaris Mill. – RAB, Benson (1982), Ward (2009e)

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image of plant© Alan Cressler: Opuntia monacantha, Cactus Forest Loop, Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District, Pima County, Arizona 2 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Opuntia monacantha, Cactus Forest Loop, Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District, Pima County, Arizona 1 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷

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