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Opuntia sp., Prickly Pear

Opuntia sp.

Prickly Pear
Family: Cactaceae
Large shrub 5-10 ftSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunDry conditionsRed/crimson/vinous flowersYellow/orange flowersEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
Ethnomedical statements / products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We urge all customers to consult a physician before using any supplements, herbals or medicines advertised here or elsewhere.Thorny or spiny

Opuntia is a very large genus of cacti, varying in size from 2in tall miniature plants to 100ft tall trees. They are native from Canada, to Chile and Argentina. The genus has been split several times, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus yet on the best way to do that. The name Opuntia comes from the name of a Greek city. All Opuntias not only have normal spines, but they also have thin barbed spines barely visible, named glochids. These can get stuck in your skin and be very irritating. In some species, they are particularly light and can become airborne when the Opuntia is moved. Wetting the plant before handling it might be a good prevention. Opuntias often have large, colorful flowers. The fruit is also large and generally edible. Incidentally the unripe fruit of the opuntia - when plucked from the mother plant and treated as above - is also capable of producing roots.

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