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Eastern Prickly-Pear

Opuntia humifusa

Description:

Honestly, I thought these had to have gotten loose from somebody's garden, but after digging around, it appears we DO have a native cactus in Arkansas--the Eastern Prickly-Pear. I'm shocked. Other names include Low Prickly Pear, Smooth Prickly Pear, and Devil's Tongue. I'm excited to learn when they bloom so that I can make a trip back to them. They can be eaten in found young enough as to have no spikes yet.

Habitat:

These were found under tall pines on the crest of a very rocky hill. The area was open and devoid of most low foliage. Quite a few clusters were dotting the top of this hill. The area certainly got shade, but looked like it would also get a good dose of sunlight at times.

Notes:

Additional Resource(s): >Wildflower.org: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result... / > Opuntia Web: https://www.opuntiads.com/opuntia-humifu...

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3 Comments

Gary Walton
Gary Walton a year ago

Just be sure tho eat them before they form thorns. The young pads will have small soft green projections in place of thorns. The flowers are interesting as the stamens will move when touched.

Matthew Hammond
Matthew Hammond a year ago

Fascinating, I love any plant that can go on a forage/survival list!

Gary Walton
Gary Walton a year ago

This is a very widespread species. It even grows in Minnesota! The young pads can be eaten (before the thorns and bristles form) and are mucilaginous like okra.

Matthew Hammond
Spotted by
Matthew Hammond

Arkansas, USA

Spotted on Sep 17, 2019
Submitted on Sep 22, 2019

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