Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Cactaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw. var. dillenii (Ker Gawler) L. Benson

Leaf arrangement

Leaf Type

Leaf Shape

Leaf Apex

Leaf Base

Leaf Margin

Habit : An armed shrub.

Habitat and Distribution : Common in wastelands. Plains from the coast to 900m. Native to America. Introduced, now in the wild.

Indigenous Information : Fruits edible, helps to increase appetite. Excessive amounts may cause diaohrrea. Flowers are placed over heat boils on body for healing. Fruits eaten by peacocks, squirrels, hares. Roots eaten by boar.

Other relevent information : Fruits edible.

Field Tips : Areoles raised, densly elongate bristles. Spines 5-7 per areole.


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English : Prickly Pear
Irula : Mullu kalli
Tamil : Chappathi kali
Hindi : Nagphana


Solitary, sessile, yellow. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit :

A berry, obovoid, purple when ripe. Seeds many. Fruiting from MArch onwards.

All from Cactaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)