n Farmer’s Weekly - A biocontrol solution for invasive prickly pear : farming for tomorrow

Volume 2016, Issue 16010
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



Vast tracts of valuable agricultural and conservation land in South Africa are overrun with an invasive cactus, the small round-leaved prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck). It is thought to have been introduced as an ornamental from its native Mexico or south- western US, but has escaped cultivation to invade savanna, grassland and karoo regions across South Africa. The long spines and clusters of shorter prickles (known as glochids) on the leaf pads injure livestock, wild animals and humans, and make invaded areas inaccessible, and thus the production potential of the land.

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