Survey & clearing of Boxing glove cactus and Thistle cholla

Trevor Xivuri-SANBI Invasive Species Programme

Boxing glove cactus (Cyclindrropuntia fugida var. mamillata) and Thistle cholla (Cylindropuntia pallida) are native to south western USA and northern Mexico.

Invasive populations of these cacti have been found in the arid areas of Northern, Western and Eastern provinces of South Africa with the invasions likely the result of escapes from succulent gardens since 2011.

There are 738 532 ha of farmland that have been surveyed to search for boxing clove cactus by visiting farms and homesteads and interviewing landowners.

Populations off boxing clove have been chemically controlled using 4% garlon at thirteen sites in the Northern and Eastern Cape.

Chochineal insects (Dactylopius tomentosa) were released at a further four sites in the Northern Cape and are currently being monitored.

Thistle cholla (Cylindropuntia pallida) has been chemically controlled at four sites in the Eastern Cape using 2% Garlon.

There is no effective biological control available in South Africa for Cylindropuntia pallida.

For more information please see the fact sheets below:

Boxing glove cactus (Cyclindropuntia fulgida)
Thistle cholla (Cylindropuntia pallida) 
Chochineal insects(Dactylopius tomentosa) 

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