Etymology -Named in honor of Michelangelo Console of the Palermo Botanic Garden, Italy.Consolea is a group of Opuntiads from the Caribbean (including Florida, U.S.). They are all small-tree-like plants (20 feet tall at most) that start out as flat pads called cladodes, which later develop into round trunks. At the end of these trunks, new cladodes give the appearance of leaves messily arranged about the top. This feature of straight, round, unsegmented stems are unique to Consolea and this helps define the genus. In addition the flowers bear parts that are unique among other Opuntiads, specifically the seeds, pollen and floral nectary. The flowers themselves are small, mostly under 1inch in diameter and rise out of pericarpels which are comparatively large and may or may not have spines.
As with many other Opuntiads, some Consolea species are quite common in collections or nurseries, but receive little attention. Often they are simply labeled "Opuntia". They are quite vigorous growers which accounts in part for their popularity along with some species lack of any threatening spines and/or glochids.