Consolea corallicola

Photographs belong to the photographers who allow use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

Semaphore Pricklypear, Semaphore Cactus


Also known as Opuntia corallicola

Plant Specifics

Size:4-10 ft
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Red
Fruit Color:Red
Noted for:Showy flowers, Showy fruits, Interesting foliage, Thorns, Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:Specimen plant
Considerations:Distinctly thorny. Will need protection from invasive cactus moth.
Propagation:Plant segments (pads) of existing plant.
Availability:FNPS plant sales, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of occasional/brief inundation such as can occur in storm surges.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Lime rock
Soil pH:Calcareous (high pH)



Consolea corallicola has extremely low genetic diversity as the only two natural populations are clones (both functionally male).  Currently propagated by planting pads. 

Native Habitats:Tropical rockland hammock, coastal rock barren, freshwater tidal swamp and inland margins of mangrove swamp. Photographs are of specimens planted at Fairchild Botanical Gardens.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10B 11 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

This is an ENDANGERED plant (listed both Florida and US). Please acquire this endemic plant only from a reputable source.

One of several cactus species that is attacked by the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, which arrived in Florida in 1989, and this invasive species has become a serious threat to the diversity and abundance of Consolea corallicola and Opuntia cacti in North America.