First report of Cylindropuntia fulgida in Spain
Cylindropuntia fulgida (Cactaceae), commonly known as the coral cactus, is native to Southwestern US and Mexico. There are at least two varieties of the species which are invasive: C. fulgida var. mamillata and C. fulgida var. fulgida. C. fulgida var. mamillata has become established in inland dry regions of Australia where it threatens native biodiversity of semi-arid plant communities. C. fulgida var. mamillata is also an invasive alien plant species in South Africa along with C. fulgida var. fulgida. In the case of the latter, vast areas of pasture land and areas of conservation value were invaded causing negative impacts to livestock and native biodiversity until its control was achieved using the classical biological control agent Dactylopius tomentosus. In Spain, C. fulgida was recorded for the first time in Alcanar (municipality of Montsiá, province of Tarragona) at the edge of an urban area where a number of individuals were recorded growing up to 30 cm in height. The population extends approximately 3 m along the roadside. The authors highlight that this is the first record of a casual population of C. fulgida in Europe. The plants collected in Spain have taxonomic attributes which correspond to Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata. The authors detail that the species could become invasive in the region in the near future.
Gómez-Bellvier, C, Alvarez H, Nualart N, Ibánez N, Sáez L, López-Pujol J (2019) New records of alien vascular plants in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula). Collectanea Botanica 38, e004. https://doi.org/10.3989/collectbot.2019.v38.004