Invasions: Prickly Pear

Index card


In this coastal strip the plants adapt to the soil and to the wet and windy climate of the Cap de Creus. Tree species don’t occupy too much space; the most common is the Aleppo pine and the cork oak. Maquis and shrublands occupy the greater part of the land area and the species found most frequently are the mastic tree, juniper, tree heather and heather itself, the sage-leaved rock rose, common broom, the grey-leaved cistus and thorny broom.

Among these plants we’ll find the prickly pear, a species native to Mexico. The pads (leaves) that detach themselves from this cactus have the capacity to root, thereby creating a new plant, which has enabled it to spread throughout Catalonia. Its state of naturalisation is such that it has become invasive due to its capacity to destroy native vegetation and therefore is classified as an Exotic Invasive Species.