There are many species in the genus Opuntia, and these are commonly known as Prickly Pears. This group includes some of the hardiest cactus species of all, including some that occur naturally well into Northern Canada. Most Prickly Pear bloom in late spring or early summer in a wide range of flower colours.
Most forms have spines, which can range in size from little stubs to several inches in length, and can be painful. In addition, most prickly pear also protect themselves with glochids, which are tiny, usually brownish, hairlike prickles that easily detach from the plant, and reattach themselves to your skin or clothes.
Although mostly appreciated for their flowers, the spines, which in fact are highly evolved leaves, are often attractive in their own right. Ranging in colour from white, through golden, cinnamon and brownish shades, carefully placed plants glow in morning or evening sunlight, as it slants through the dense spines.
In order to survive winter's cold, pads will begin to lose water in fall. Eventually pads become quite flaccid and may even lay flat on the ground. Come early spring, pads re-hydrate and perk back up.
Our plants are sold as unrooted pads, ready to be planted. Click here for instructions on what to expect when you receive your order, and how to handle, plant and grow your cactus.