Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Plant and fruit characteristics of cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) cultivars in South Africa.

Abstract

The cultivation of cactus pear requires low input and is therefore conducive to a sustainable system that will increase the efficiency and economic viability of the small and medium-sized farms of low-income farmers. The aim of this study was to determine fruit and plant characteristics of the 10 most commonly grown cactus pear cultivars in South Africa under rain-fed, subtropical conditions. Skinners Court favoured vegetative growth. The fruit of Gymno Carpo had below average total soluble sugars. Roedtan had high cladode yield, while producing fruit of good quality, especially high total soluble sugar values, and quantity. Turpin and Meyers proved to have the highest fruit yield, fruit mass, cladode yield and number of cladodes pruned per plant. These cultivars can therefore be planted for both fruit production and for harvesting of cladodes for animal feed.