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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear) is a widespread desert perennial cactus shrub. The plants produce either lateral branches or flowers from the axillary meristems, depending on maternal and environmental influences.The flower buds develop from the axillary meristems mainly at the margin of the apical part of the terminal flat branch segments. Flower bud meristems start to be active and secrete mucus in January. The red-bracted flower buds start to appear in March/April, flowers open in May/June, and fruit matures in June/August.This study focused on the appearance of flower buds, flowers, and fruits after induction of O. ficus-indica one-segment branch cuttings by environmental factors during the 3-week healing period after cutting and before planting. The influence of treatments such as temperature, light intensity, and day length on flower bud appearance and fruit development is described.

Affiliations: 1: Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


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