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Cactus - Prickly-pear

Cactus - Prickly-pear

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Eastern Prickly Pear - OPUNTIA Humifusa

Native Zone 2-10. Sun/Part Shade. Perennial

Eastern prickly pear doesn’t have the stature of its dessert cousins, but does add a nice touch of southwest to cooler climates. Easy and undemanding to grow, hardy enough to survive in climates down to at least USDA Zone 2. From June to July, the cactus puts out stunning delicate yellow flowers, which are followed by small edible purple/red fruits, called tunas. These are the prickly pears, although not as large other varieties, they are sweet and can be made into desserts or syrups. Young tender pads are a delicacy. Be careful when handling, as the pads are covered in thousands of small glochids, which can become a very unpleasant. A good pair of thick gloves is a must for anyone looking to do some gardening with this plant.

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