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Extremely valuable desert cacti native to the US, Mexico and down south through South America, prickly pear are also extensively grown in many other parts of the world including the Mediterranean region, Australia and Africa. Virtually every part of the plant is edible, fruit, pads and seeds  which can be ground into flour. The fibers are made into baskets and the sap is added to plaster and mortar to add strength. The fruits are called prickly pears, tunas, Indian pear or Indian fig  are sweet and succulent. The flavor is often compared to a mixture of strawberries, fig, watermelon, honeydew and citrus, with a lot of flavor diversity amongst the different species and varieties. They are eaten fresh and made into jams, juices, wine and in baking. The pads can be cooked into a very healthy vegetable similar in taste to green beans. Called Nopales when whole they are referred to as nopalitos when diced up and cooked. New research is showing them  to have an excellent affect in preveting blood sugar problems such as diabetes and hypoglycemia. The juicy pulp is used the same as aloe vera juice in treating burns and other skin and internal conditios. Many spineless cultivars have been developed for use as an animal feed for growing in arid regions where it can be a major part of an animals food and water consumption. Also can be used as a living fence and are planted sometimes as close as 1 foot apart to make an inpenetrable hedge. Plants are very attractive with unique large pads jutting out at different angles, very showy large, but delicate flowers in the spring and pretty gold, red or purple fruit adorning the plant in the fall and winter. While it can take prolonged drought it grows best with occasional summer irrigation and some fertilizer feedings during the growing season, especially when young. They are grown commercially on a large scale in Mexico and the Mediteranean region with a growing number of farms growing them in the US now too. Hardy zones 7 or 8-11, depending on the variety.

Results 1 - 11 of 11

Prickly Pear ( Opuntia species)

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Burbank Spineless

USDA Certified Organic

Said to be one of Luther Burbanks major plant breeding successes, it was breed primarily as a thornless forage type cactus for cattle forgage in the arid southwest. Long popular in gardens for its...

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$15.00
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Desert Delight

USDA Certified Organic

Very heavy producer of sweet red-pink fruits. Showy orange-red flowers and large low thorn pads on a sturdy plant that is said to have excellent cold hardiness.

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Desert Dream

USDA Certified Organic

A Blanca type Opuntia ficus-indica from Mexico. Sweet, large white fruit has excellent flavor and is mildly spiny. Very cold hardy and said to withstand temperatures down to -16 C (5 F). Lightly...

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Desert Glow

USDA Certified Organic

Heavy producer of yellow-orange sweet fruits. Attractive bushy plants have low thorn pads and beautiful yellow shaded orange blossoms.

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Desert Green

USDA Certified Organic

A cold hardy forage and vegetable variety from Peter Felkers colleagues breeding program in Argentina. Vigorous growing plants are very productive of low thorn pads. We obtaned this selection from...

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Desert Romance

USDA Certified Organic

Stunning orange-red flowers are followed by deep red-purple fruits that are sweet and have a low seed count. Spineless pads are excellent for nopales. Hardy disease resistant variety is compact and...

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Desert Sunrise

USDA Certified Organic

Beautiful yellow-green fruit has a soft pink blush and has very sweet fruity flesh with few seeds. Showy yellow flowers and low thorn pads.

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Desert Sunset

USDA Certified Organic

Large beautiful red, orange and pink colored fruit has delicious very sweet and fruity flesh.

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Reina

USDA Certified Organic

Beautiful bright purple-red fruits are sweet and excellent for fresh eating and other uses. Intensively grown under plastic for high yield nopalito production in Mexico. Both fruit and pads are...

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Saffir Select

USDA Certified Organic

Medium-large sweet and tasty purple fruit are copiously produced from this exceptionally beautiful and vigorous Opuntia. It’s spreading form doesn’t get too tall and top-heavy and has very lightly...

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Salinas Gold

USDA Certified Organic

Seedlings of exceptionally large high quality sweet and juicy yellow skinned fruit discovered at a fruit stand near Salinas, CA.

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