Opuntia humifusa - Prickly Pear - Photo courtesy of Sean James Consulting & Design

Prickly Pear

Opuntia humifusa

Also called Devil's Tongue, Compressed Cactus

  • AKA Opuntia compressa, Opuntia rafinesquei
  • Waxy yellow flowers grow singularly or in small clusters along the top edge of the cactus pad
  • Blooms last one day
  • Edible small oval bristly red fruit follow the flower and turn yellow when ripe
  • Flat fleshy oval pads are covered in fine barbed bristles
  • Each pad is about 25 cm long, 15 cm wide and 3 cm thick
  • Old pads are bluish-green and new growth is mid-green
  • Evergreen and very drought-tolerant
  • Bloom Time: May to July



20-30 cm

75-90 cm

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Growing and Maintenance Tips:

Thrives in at least a half day of sun in dry, sandy or rocky soils. Loamy soils are tolerated if well-drained. Can be found in sandy woodlands, prairies, rocky bluffs, sand dunes, and gravelly areas along railroads. 

Additional Notes about Prickly Pear:

Native to Ontario