Kallimul-chedi

Scientific Name :
Opuntia stricta Haw.
Synonym(s) :
Cactus strictus Haw.
Local/Common name(s) :
Kallimul-chedi, Prickly pear
Family :
Cactaceae
Habit :
Shrubs
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
Habitat :
Endemic :
Status (IUCN) :
Distribution :
Nativity :
Exotic
Uses :
Medicine, food
Description (Morphology) :

It is a shrubby, erect plant, extending lengthwise to somewhat upright and reach heights of growth up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in height, producing lemon yellow flowers in the spring and summer, followed by purplish-red fruits. It is quick to colonize hot, open environments with sandy soils. The bald, flattened, ovate to inverted egg-shaped, tapered at the base shoot sections are blue-green. They are 25 to 64 cm (10 to 25 inches) long and 15 to 64 cm (6 to 25 inches) inches wide. The brownish areoles are far apart leaving most of the epidermis, with often one or more yellowish spines, at least near the edges and towards the apex. They carry striking, yellow glochids that are 2 to 6 mm (0.079 to 0.236 inches) long. The 1 to 5 awl-shaped spur is flattened, provided with a light barb at the top thorns are yellow. They are perpendicular to the surface of the shoots and are 1.3 to 12.7 cm (0.5 to 5 inches) long. The yellow to yellowish orange flowers, which are solitary, formed by numerous membranous parts, reach a length of 13 to 15 cm (5 to 6 inches) and a diameter of 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches). The flowers are ephemeral and melliferous. The purple-red, smooth fruits are inverted-egg-shaped and tapered at the base. They are 6.4 to 8.9 cm (2.5 to 3.5 inches) inches long and covered with plenty of glochids and are more or less pyriform, always purple in color, 4 to 6 cm (1.6 to 2.4 inches) in length and contain from 60 to 180 seeds (which may remain viable for more than 10 years), yellow to light brown, incorporated into the fruit pulp. As fruits are appreciated by birds and mammals, their seeds are dispersed by animals. The mucilage inside the leaves is used to treat burns and abscesses. It is edible in the same way as fruits.

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