Macquarie Valley Weeds Committee & Lachlan Valley Weeds Advisory Committee


Devils Rope Pear

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Botanical Name: Cylindropuntia imbricata
Other Common Names:


Class Regions
Class 4All Of N.S.W.
Landholder Responsibilities: Growth and spread must be controlled according to the Local Control Authority class 4 management plan. the plant must not be sold, propogated or knowingly distributed.
Why Is It Bad?: Devils Rope Pear is a tangled perennial succulent growing to 1-3m in height. It is very thorny and injurious to animals and humans. Segments break off and are spread to new sites via flood waters and wind. New plants will grow from seed and segments. Devils Rope Pear develops into thick stands that prevent human and stock movement and reduces stock carrying capacity.


Habit: Shrub
Leaves: There are no true leaves. Branches are highly segments and fleshy, resembling a plaited rope. Each segment has "eyes" of clustered spines, 25mm long.
Flowers: Flowers are dull red or purple, 7.5com diameter. They form at the end of segments from late spring to summer.
Fruit: Berries are yellow, 50mm in diameter, divided into raised segments with a spineless "eye" at the top.

Control Methods

Manual Removal: Small infestations can be removed by hand but a high level of care needs to be taken to ensure ALL parts of the plant are removed, otherwise managers risk increasing the infestation size dramatically.
Chemical Use: Use of herbicides is effective but a wetter needs to be used to penetrate the succulents outer layer.
Fire: Fire is an option for small infestations, but needs to be followed by up with regular monitoring and herbicide use.
Slashing & Cutting: Definitely NOT recommended as this will spread segments, increasing infestations.
Biological Control: Dactylopious tormentosus is a practical and cost effective agent to use on thick patches in warmer drier areas. The cochineal bug cannot be used as it is host specific.
Cultivation & Scalping: Not generally recommended as broken segments can easily form new plants. However if done repeatedly, some success has been seen.
Monitoring: Successful treatment programs rely on ongoing monitoring of sites. Regrowth and new seedlings can easily become larger infestations if follow-up treatments are not part of the management program


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Image Credit: Scott Kahler

Image Credit: Wendy Bushell

Image Credit: Wendy Bushell

Image Credit: Don Mackenzie

Image Credit: Don Mackenzie

Image Credit: Don Mackenzie

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