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Healthy Home Gardening

Prickly Pear Cactus Rose

Cactaceae Opuntia engelmannii

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Type Categories Useful Parts
Shrub
Shrub
Food Medicine
Material Commercial
Weed
Leaves Fruit

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Prickly Pear Cactus Rose

Main Order Diagram | Plant Order List

Cactaceae Family
Cactus - Brazil Cholla Cactus Paddle Cactus Cholla Cactus Newborn Cactus Dragon Fruit Leaf Cactus Golden Barrel Cactus Silver Torch Cactus Peyote

Opuntia Genus
Cholla Cactus Paddle Cactus Cholla Cactus Prickly Pear Cactus Rose Prickly Pear Cactus Palma Amarelo, Polka-dot Cactus
Other Names for this Plant

nopales, paddle cactus, cactus apple


Location

Found in Arizona.

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, from arid regions in the Northwest, throughout the mid and lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains, and especially in the Southwest. Prickly pears are also the only types of cactus natively found to grow far east of the Great Plains states, as far northeast as Long Island, where it can be found in Northport.

Physical Description
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Prickly pear cacti typically grow with flat, rounded platyclades that 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. Many types of prickly pears grow into dense, tangled structures.

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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
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus
General Information

Prickly pears also produce a fruit that is commonly eaten in Mexico, known as "tuna"; it also is used to make aguas frescas. The fruit can be red, wine-red, green or yellow-orange.

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. The same trait has evolved convergently in other cacti
The fruit of prickly pears, commonly called cactus figs, Indian fig or tuna, is edible, although 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.

Native Americans like the Tequesta would roll the fruit around in grit to "sand" off the glochids. Alternatively, rotating the fruit in the flame of a campfire or torch has been used to remove the glochids. Today, parthenocarpic (seedless) cultivars are also available.
Cactus figs are often used to make candies, jelly, or drinks such as Vodka or lemonade.

Mexicans have used it for thousands of years to make colonche, an alcoholic drink.

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

It may be that certain species are effective and useful in diabetes while others are not, but this needs to be clarified with further research before recommending its use. Furthermore, when buying nopal in the market, it is impossible to know which species one is buying, and therefore whether or not it is useful in treating diabetes.

Prickly Pear Cactus Rose

Prickly Pear Cactus Rose


Prickly Pear Cactus Rose

Prickly Pear Cactus Rose


Prickly Pear Cactus Rose

Prickly Pear Cactus Rose


Prickly Pear Cactus Rose

Prickly Pear Cactus Rose


Comment: Prickly Pear Cactus Rose, Opuntia engelmannii

Page Posts: 2

Biocentric333
Biocentric333

Nice photos of this prickly pear cactus rose = )

It makes me miss the desert!
January 20, 2011
19:16:50
Thunder
Thunder

This is one I never saw when I lived out in Colorado and visited other places! so many varieties of prickly pear...the locals where I lived just clumped them under the name "prickly pear" as if that was all they needed to say! :o))
June 08, 2010
13:31:48

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