Opuntia Diseases: What Is Sammons’ Virus Of Opuntia

Opuntia Diseases: What Is Sammons’ Virus Of Opuntia

By: Liz Baessler

Opuntia, or prickly pear cactus, is native to Mexico but grown all across its possible habitat of USDA zones 9 through 11. It usually grows to between 6 and 20 feet in height. Opuntia diseases occasionally occur, and one of the more common is Sammons’ Opuntia virus. Keep reading to learn more about Sammons’ virus of Opuntia cactus.

Treating Virus in Cactus Plants

Opuntia vulgaris, also known as Opuntia ficus-indica and more commonly as Indian fig prickly pear, is a cactus that produces tasty fruit. The pads of the cactus can be cooked and eaten as well, but the main draw are the edible orange to red fruits.

There are a few common Opuntia diseases. Identifying a virus in cactus plants is essential, as some are much more of a problem than others. Sammons’ virus, for instance, is not a problem at all. It may make your cactus look a little strange, but it doesn’t affect the health of the plant and may, depending upon who you ask, make it look a little more interesting. That being said, it’s always better not to spread disease if you can help it.

What is Sammons’ Opuntia Virus?

So what is Sammons’ virus? Sammons’ Opuntia virus can be spotted in light yellow rings that appear on the pads of the cactus, earning the disease the alternate name of ringspot virus. Often, the rings are concentric.

Studies show that the virus has absolutely no negative effects on the plant’s health. This is good, because there is no way to treat Sammons’ virus. Opuntia is the only known carrier of Sammons’ virus.

It doesn’t seem to be spread by insects, but it is borne through the plant’s sap. The most common means of spread is human propagation with infected cuttings. To keep the disease from spreading, make sure to propagate your cactus only with pads that show no signs of the disease.

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Read more about Prickly Pear Cactus


Synonymes - prickly pear

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Opuntia, also known as nopales (see below), or Paddle Cactus from the resemblance to the ball-and-paddle toy, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae.

Currently, only prickly pears are included in this genus of about 200 [ 1 ] species distributed throughout most of the Americas. Chollas are now separated into the genus Cylindropuntia, which some still consider a subgenus of Opuntia. Austrocylindropuntia, Corynopuntia and Micropuntia are also often included in the present genus, but like Cylindropuntia they seem rather well distinct. Brasiliopuntia and Miqueliopuntia are closer relatives of Opuntia.

The most commonly culinary species is the Indian Fig Opuntia (O. ficus-indica). Most culinary uses of the term 'prickly pear' refer to this species. Prickly pears are also known as nopal or nopales, from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit or paddle cactus (from the resemblance to the ball-and-paddle toy).


Comments (19)

Greenclaws UK, Zone 8a

That doesnT look very good does it? Whilst I have no idea on what type it us as I tend to only grow Jades and 'jungle type cacti', I would be very suspect about it, in fact to be honest I would have passed it by. Does the whole plant have these marks? Could I suggest returning it and asking for a refund? I hope that someone more 'cacti based' will come in and tell you it's mechanical damage, and not a fungus or virus type thing. but I do wonder. I would defo return it.


10 Cactus Health Benefits

1. Contains antioxidants

Only few people know that cactus leaves have a high drug value. Among the most important compounds are antioxidants. The high antioxidant in cactus is very good consumed to eliminate free radicals and keep the body stay young. In addition, the cactus also contains high caratenoid and is required by the health of the body. The high antioxidants make this leaf useful to prevent dangerous diseases such as cancer. You can try putting this leaf into your daily diet to get maximum benefit.

2. Lose weight

One of the benefits of cactus is being able to help your diet in lose weight. This is thanks to the high content of fiber in cactus leaves so that it can help remove waste properly and able to maintain a sense of satiety so you are not eager to increase the portion of food. In addition, cactus can also lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol.

Not only stop there, the cactus health benefits also can not be separated from thiamin and riboflavin useful to maximize fat burning and convert it into energy body. To get the health benefits, you can cook the cactus into jelly or consume as a salad that is wrapped in meat. You can also add it to the omelette and soup.

3. Function as anti-inflammatory

Cactus is also valuable as an inflammatory drug, based on research published in the journal in 2006, stated that the cactus is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are very beneficial for health. Cactus is also a source for quercetin bioflavonoids that are useful as an enzyme free radical damage. So, the cactus needs to be included in a healthy diet.

4. Mineral source

As a mineral source, cactus is also very important to consume, there are very many types of minerals in cactus that are useful to support our health. Among them are potassium, magnesium, phosphorus. This mineral is efficacious to encourage and improve body functions. Potassium and magnesium play a role to maintain muscle health and maintain its function. So, you can rely on cactus to meet the body’s mineral needs.

5. Contains essential fatty acids

The health benefits of cactus leaves are also related to the content of essential fatty acids, cactus containing linoleic acid which acts as an essential fatty acid. This essential fat is very useful for maintaining brain function, as well as cognitive. In fact, essential fatty acids are also proven to increase intelligence, so this is a tremendous benefit. See more: Worst Foods for Brain Health

6. Natural medicine for diabetes

One of the natural cures for diabetes is cactus, cactus contains pectin and fiber that can prevent the absorption of sugar and limit sugar in the stomach and intestines. A study conducted by the “foundation mayo” revealed that the cactus can reduce blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. Well, from the many nutrients we know that the cactus is very good as a diabetic health solution.

7. Promote eye health

Cactus contains vitamin A which is needed by the eyes. Thus, the cactus may reduce the percentage of risk of eye disease or macular degeneration. If you want to have healthy eyes, do not forget to include cactus in your healthy diet. See also: pink eye home remedies

8. Good for heart health

As we have explain before, the cactus is beneficial to reduce body cholesterol levels, this means that he is able to maintain heart health because one of the biggest heart enemies is bad cholesterol. A study conducted in France found that cactus also affects the metabolic syndrome. Thus, decreasing cholesterol levels further reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.

9. Improve brain health

One of the benefits of cactus is to maintain and improve brain health. This is thanks to the presence of antioxidants, vitamins, folate, all these nutrients provide benefits to the brain, especially in protecting brain cell damage.


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