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Prickly Pear
One species of prickly pear was first brought to Australia with the First Fleet to help establish an industry in cochineal – the red dye used to colour the coats of the British soldiers. The dye was extracted from the cochineal beetle, which lives and feeds on prickly pear. By the late 19th century a different species of prickly pear had spread out of control in New South Wales and Queensland, and by the 1920s covered more than 25 million hectares. The spiky cactus formed dense stands that made the areas it infested nearly impossible to raise animals on, driving many farmers from their land. Various methods of chemical and physical control of the cactus were tried without much success.  In 1926, the caterpillars of the Argentinian Cactoblastis moth were first released into affected areas. The moth larvae burrow into and eat the cactus, eventually killing it. Cactoblastis was a great success, and in less than 10 years after its introduction the prickly pear population had been brought largely under control.  Prickly Pear is a Noxious Weed in Australia.
Album by gladysclancy. Photos by Gladys. 1 - 19 of 19 Total. 4766 Visits.
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Prickly Pear Flower -- 5 Dec 2006

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Twin Buds of Prickly Pear

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Ripe Fruit of Prickly Pear

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Prickly Pear in front of House

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Prickly Pear Flower

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Prickly Pear Fruit

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Sunlit Flower of Prickly Pear

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Solitary Flower Bud of Prickly Pear

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Prickly Pear Flower Buds

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Opening Flower Bud of Prickly Pear

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Prickly Pear Flower

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Prickly Pear was Introduced to Australia

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Prickly Pear Flower

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Prickly Pear Fruit

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Prickly Pear is a Noxious Weed in Australia

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Edible Fruit of Prickly Pear

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Sunshine on Prickly Pear Flower

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Prickly Pear has edible Fruit

 
   
 
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