The Main Plant entry for Prickly Pears (Opuntia)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Prickly Pears.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Flowers: Showy
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Needs specific temperature: 68-86 degrees
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Seeds may be extremely slow to germinate
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Individual pads form new plants; they must dry and callous for 10 days before planting
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


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Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 20, 2013 11:56 PM

"Opuntia, also known as nopales or paddle cactus, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae.

Currently, only prickly pears are included in this genus of about 200 species distributed throughout most of the Americas.

Like all true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Western hemisphere; however, they have been introduced to other parts of the globe. Prickly pear species are found in abundance in Mexico, especially in the central and western regions. They are also found in the Western United States, in arid regions in the Northwest, throughout the mid and lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains such as in Colorado, where species such as Opuntia phaeacantha, Opuntia polyacantha and others become dominant, and especially in the desert Southwest. Prickly pears are also the only types of cactus found to grow natively far east of the Great Plains states; O. humifusa is widespread throughout southern New England and Long Island, where it can be found in Northport, as well as throughout the northern Great Lakes states and southern Ontario, Canada. O. humifusa is also a prominent feature of the flora at Illinois Beach State Park, in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, north of Chicago, and of Indiana Dunes State Park southeast of Chicago."

Taken from wikipedia's page at:

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