Grusonia alcahes (F.A.C.Weber) G.D.Rowley
Opuntia alcahes F.A.C.Weber
Cylindropuntia burrageana (Britton & Rose) Backeb.
Opuntia burrageana Britton & Rose
Cylindropuntia alcahes is a spiny, succulent, shrubby to tree-like cactus with segmented stems; in habit it can be densely compact to openly branched, growing up to 3 metres tall. Individual stem segments can be 2 - 20cm long and up to 45mm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Cylindropuntia alcahes is a widespread and abundant species on the Baja California Peninsula and has no major threats. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2017)[
The plant has numerous minutely barbed glochids - these are barbed spines that are usually small to minute and are very sharp and brittle. The glochids are very easily dislodged when the plant is touched and can penetrate the skin where, because of their barbs, they become stuck and are very difficult to see and remove. They can cause considerable irritation and discomfort[
Opuntia species can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, especially in older parts of the plant. Perfectly alright in small quantities, foods containing oxalic acid should not be eaten in large amounts since it can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[
Southwest N. America - Arizona, northwest Mexico (Baja California)
Desert and coastal scrub; at elevatons up to 1,100 metres[
Fruit - raw[
]. The green to yellow, globose to club shaped fruit is up to 5cm long and 3cm in diameter[