Prickly Pear Cactus
The Prickly Pear Cactus is famously known for its usually spiny, paddle-shaped leaves and very attractive, colorful cup-shaped flowers which bloom in late spring and during the summer months. Some also bloom throughout much of the winter. They grow from 1 to 3 feet high and up to 6 feet wide. They are hardy, drought resistant, deer resistant, and some are quite cold tolerant as well.
Many bear fruits which are edible. Prickly pear juice is often used to make jam or candy, and also cocktails and vinaigrette’s for salads. Some have boiled the juice down with a bit of orange or lemon juice to make a delicious sauce for fruit salads and cheese cakes. The ones found in markets should have been cleaned of the tiny thorns, but the ones fresh off the cactus are covered with them, so it is recommended to handle them with heavy leather work gloves and scrub them to ensure all the painful little barbs are removed.
Please take the time to take a look at other types of cacti we have to offer here at Envirogreen Landscape Design-Build.