NopalTexas Pricklypear

Nopal, Pricklypear

Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck ex Engelm. var. lindheimeri (Engelm.) Parfitt & Pinkava

Whole plant

Family : Cactaceae

Longevity : Perennial

Origin : Native

Season : Cool

Texas Prickly Pear grows three to ten feet in height in the South Texas Plains and the Edwards Plateau. The flowers can be yellow to orange to red in color and bloom from April to June. The red to purple fruit is eaten raw or in preserves and its joints (when tender) make a peppery dressing. In drought conditions the spines are burned off to prepare food for cattle. Texas Prickly Pear provides cover for birds and wildlife feed on the joints and fruit. It is an especially good source of water for animals in Texas. Prickly pear is often controlled using herbicides or a combination of herbicides and fire.
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