Skip navigation
Go to home page > Species > Prickly pear cactus

Prickly pear cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)
© Eric Williams

Common name:

Prickly pear cactus

Scientific name:

Opuntia spp.

Spanish name:

Nopal / Chumbera

Conservation status:

Least Concern


Average lifespan:

100+ years

Average size:

Differs between species and varieties

Maximum size:

12 metres


Opuntia is a genus containing over 200 cacti species, all of which have paddle-shaped leaves and are commonly referred to as prickly pear cactus.  Of the 200 species of prickly pear that grow across the Americas, only six grow in the Galapagos Islands: 

  • Opuntia echios 
  • Opuntia galapageia 
  • Opuntia helleri 
  • Opuntia insularis 
  • Opuntia saxicola 
  • Opuntia megasperma 

Prickly pear cacti in Galapagos

How you can help

Please help us protect the wildlife of Galapagos by donating today.

Read more about prickly pear cacti...

11th May 2015

Discovery Blog: Pioneering Cacti

While many Galapagos species are headline grabbers thanks to their adaptations and uniqueness, there are plenty of lesser heralded species...
Read more

Get the latest news from Galapagos

Join our mailing list to receive our monthly email newsletter, bringing you the latest news on Galapagos and our work to protect the Islands.

Share This Page