bunny ears

Opuntia microdasys
Succulent
Opposite
Cladode
Yellow
Green

Biosecurity Queensland must be notified within 24 hours Ph. 13 25 23
Biosecurity Queensland Must attend site before any control measure is administered, advise will be provided to the land holder at this time

Bunny ears forms a dense shrub 40–60 cm tall, occasionally more, composed of pad-like stems 6–15 cm long and 4–12 cm broad. There is no central stem and pads always grow in pairs giving the appearance of bunny ears.

Common names 
Also known as: Golden bristle cactus, polka dot cactus,
Family 
Cactaceae
Deciduous 
No
Flowering time 
Summer
Native/Exotic 
Exotic
Origin 
Native to northern Mexico
Notifiable 
Yes
State declaration 
Category 2,3,4,5 - Must be reported to Biosecurity inspector or authorised person. Must not be distributed, moved, possessed or kept under your control.
Council declaration 
As per State Declaration
Known distribution 

Found all over Queensland, including Willows Gemfields, Emerald, Springsure, Mackay, Sarina, Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Habitat 

Prefers open habitats in arid and semi-arid rangeland. It has now been detected across Queensland, but likely to exist in gardens/rockeries elsewhere. Potential to become abundant and widespread in Queensland.

Habit 

Bunny ears forms a dense shrub 40–60 cm tall, occasionally more, composed of pad-like stems 6–15 cm long and 4–12 cm broad. There is no central stem and pads always grow in pairs giving the appearance of bunny ears

Biosecurity Queensland Must attend site before any control measure is administered, advise will be provided to the land holder at this time.

Stem and leaves 

It has no spines, but instead has numerous white or yellow glochids (hair-like prickles), 2–3 mm long in dense clusters; these detach very easily on being touched, and can cause considerable skin irritation, so the plants must be treated with caution.

Flowers and fruits 

Flowers are yellow 3 cm wide. Fruits are fleshy globular shape to 3 cm long and red-purple in colour.

Reproduction and dispersal 

The main method of spread is from broken segments through people unknowingly giving potted plants away, and being transported on animals, people, vehicles and water.

Similar species 

Opuntia rufida is a similar cactus with red glochids instead of white or yellow. For practical purposes, this cactus would be considered the same as Opuntia microdasys. A closely related species, prickly pear (Opuntia stricta)