Search
Close this search box.

Prickly pear

Opuntia ficus-indica

Description

The Prickly pear is one of the largest species of cacti with a long history of use by indigenous cultures throughout the Southwest and Mexico. This species can eventually grow with an upright habit 10-18 ft. tall with with long medium green flattened pads, 12-18 in. long. Pale yellow to white flowers occur in spring and are followed by large edible fruit that are either red, orange or yellow in color. Bristle-like spines are common; different selections of this species are grown and will have greater or fewer spines.

Prickly pear is currently a popular species for agriculture and garden plantings in subtropical and Mediterranean climate zones around the world for its fruit. It is is also highly popular as a specimen and accent plant in Southwestern, Mediterranean and arid garden plantings within the Inland Empire. It is among our most drought-adapted plants that survives long periods of heat and drought by storing moisture in its thickened stems and pads.

Plant Type: Cacti
Foliage Character: Succulent
Habit: Clumping, Upright, Spreading
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Yellow, White
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Slopes, Screening, Rock gardens, Flowering accent plant, Background plant
Height: 10 ft. – 18 ft.
Width: 10 ft. – 18 ft.

Set your preferred view

Choose between a list or map view of all signs found in our waterwise garden and park.

Welcome to the Waterwise Garden Digital Tour

This is a digital registry created to offer further information on the physical signs in our waterwise garden and park premises.

Would you like a few tips on how to use this tool?

Move around

Travel to different sections of our garden and park premises by using the horizontal scrollbar at the top.

Locate your sign​

Using the map view, you can preview what each specific sign is about by tapping on the plus icon.

Refer back to these tips

You can view these tips at any time by tapping the Help link in the top left.