• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Slow to moderate growing; forms clumps 4 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide.
    Key Feature:
    Vibrant Desert Plant
    Blooms:
    Late Spring to Early Summer
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:op-UN-shee-a vy-oh-LAH-see-uh
    Plant type:Cactus/Succulent
    Deciduous/evergreen:Evergreen
    Growth habit:Columnar
    Growth rate:Moderate
    Average landscape size:Slow to moderate growing; forms clumps 4 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide.
    Foliage color:Green
    Blooms:Late Spring to Early Summer
    Flower color:Yellow
    Flower attributesShowy Flowers
    Garden styleMediterranean, Rustic
    Companion PlantsAgave (Agave); Hens & Chicks (Sempervivum); Sedum (Sedum); Red Yucca (Hesperaloe); Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Grows easily in average to lean, rocky, unimproved, fast-draining soils with low moisture. Water regularly during the first growing season to establish root system, allowing soil to become fairly dry between intervals. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates drought. Avoid excess winter moisture. Fertilize sparingly in spring.
    Light Needs:
    Light needs: Full Sun
    Full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: Low
    Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
  • History & Lore
    Lore:
    Prickly pear cactus has been a staple of the Mexican and Central American diet for thousands of years. In parts of the U.S. it has been gaining popularity as an exotic, gourmet and healthy addition to one's diet. The prickly pear plant has three different edible sections: the pad of the cactus (nopal), which can be treated like a vegetable, the petals of the flowers, which can be added to salads, and the pear (tuna), which can be treated like a fruit.