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Prickly Pear Cactus
Cactaceae
Opuntia polyacantha


gardengeek
gardengeek

Cactaceae Family

Opuntia Genus

Location

World-wide. This specimen was found in Utah.

Physical Description
Prickly pear cacti typically grow with flat, rounded pads called platyclades. The pads are actually modified branches or stems that serve several functions -- water storage, photosynthesis and flower production. These platyclades are armed with two kinds of spines; large, smooth, fixed spines and small, hairlike spines called glochids that easily penetrate skin and detach from the plant.




Prickly Pear Cactus, Opuntia polyacantha - YouTube.com

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Cactaceae
Caryophyllales
Caryophyllales
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
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Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
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Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

AKA Nopales, Paddle Cactus, Indian Fig Opuntia
The fruit of prickly pears, commonly called cactus figs, Indian fig or tuna, is edible.

It has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before consumption. If the outer layer is not properly removed, glochids can be ingested causing discomfort of the throat, lips, and tongue as the small spines are easily lodged in the skin.

Cactus figs are often used to make candies and jelly and a refreshing drink.

The gel-like sap of prickly pears can be used as hair conditioner.

Medical: Contains phenethylamines.
The stem of certain Opuntia spp. can be used to treat type II diabetes, diarrhea, and stomach ache. Lowers levels of "bad" cholesterol while leaving "good" cholesterol levels unchanged.

Indian Fig Opuntia (and probably others) might have a reducing effect on alcohol hangover by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators.

Charles Darwin was the first to note that these cacti have thigmotactic anthers: when the anthers are touched, they curl over, depositing their pollen. This movement can be seen by gently poking the anthers of an open Opuntia flower.

In Palestine, the prickly pear cactus has been used for centuries both as a food source and a natural fence that keeps in livestock and marks the boundaries of family lands.
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VIDEO: How to Eat a Prickly Pear Fruit #138

www.therenegadehealthshow.com - As Northeasterners, Annmarie and I really have no right showing you how to eat a prickly pear cactus fruit...

But, there are no videos that I could find on the internet on how to do it. So that means we needed to fill a void and show you how you can enjoy these unique desert fruits. :-)


www.youtube.com watch?v=_rhVeZ6gR0Q






Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus - August 06, 2009



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Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 25, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 04, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 04, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 04, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 04, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 04, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 04, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - June 04, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - May 29, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - May 29, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - May 29, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - May 29, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - May 29, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - May 29, 2009



Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant
Prickly Pear Cactus - Plant - May 23, 2009



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Cactus - Plant - May 18, 2009



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Cactus - Plant - May 11, 2009

Comment: Prickly Pear Cactus, Opuntia polyacantha

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