Harrissa Cactus

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H. martinin, H. tortuosa and H. pomanensis syn. Cereus pomanensis

Description

This is a perennial multi branched cactus with stems that form tangled mats about .5 high. Many branches lay flat and take root where they touch the ground.

Stems have 6 ribs with low, triangular humps. The humps have grey hairs at the base of some sharp spines.

Flowers are large funnel shaped white and pink-tinged. They open at night. They occur near the ends of the stem on a tube that is 12 to 15 centimetres long. It flowers during spring and summer.

Fruits are round, red balls up to 5 centimetres wide and have scattered bumps with hairs and spines.

Seeds are numerous, small and black. They are embedded in the white pulp of the fruit which splits open when ripe.

Habitat this shade tolerant cactus occurs in softwood country and is also found in open country under box and ironbark trees and in pine forests.

Weed characteristics are dense infestations that choke out pasture and injure stock.

Dispersal seeds are spread by birds and animals. It can also reproduce by stem sections taking root.

Declaration Details

This species is a Class 2 declared plant under Queensland legislation.

How to act

Foliar spraying with an approved herbicide or basal barking is effective on this weed. Ploughing out followed cropping can be effective. Two biological control agents have provided control in some areas. An integrated approach using mechanical, fire, chemical and biological control combined with pasture management is most effective.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.

References

Related information

Harrissa Cactus © NQ Dry Tropics 2011
Harrissa Cactus © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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