Opuntia biology is fascinating. How are they so malleable in shape. How do they avoid hybridization. What is the ecology of the different species?

Biocontrol of Opuntia Weeds

Prickly Pear Biocontrol Video: Biocontrol of Opuntia in Kenya (embedded from YouTube)   Video: Biocontrol of Opuntia (embedded from Youtube)

Invasive Opuntia Weeds

Prickly Pear Weeds Prickly pear cactus weeds are invasive and unwanted aliens in many environments. There is the potential for Opuntia invasion in many warm and dry parts of the world such as Australia and Africa. The most serious prickly pear weeds appear to be O. dillenii, O. stricta, and O. ficus indica, but other invasive …

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Opuntias and Desert Survival?

Eating Prickly Pears Opuntia species area ubiquitous in The West, occurring with great frequency in some areas. Prickly pears were used as food, medicines, and perhaps as awls by Native Americans and can still serve as food, either the pads or the fruits. These videos show how wild prickly pears can be prepared for consumption. One …

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Health Benefits of Opuntia

Health Benefits of Prickly Pears Opuntia (nopales) has many health benefits if you eat the pads or the fruits.  Additionally, the plants will grow in arid climates and provide crop alternatives. Health Benefits of Opuntia (embedded from YouTube)   Food Security and Opuntias (embedded from YouTube)   TOP 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Prickly Pears …

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Grafting Cacti Onto Opuntia Rootstock

Grafting with Opuntia Some cacti naturally grow slowly from seeds. Some cacti do not produce offsets, making propagation difficult. Some cacti are subject to disease when grown on their own roots. Some cactus mutants are unable to photosynthesize because they don’t have chlorophyll. Some cacti are naturally very small. Some cacti don’t bloom well on …

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General Opuntia Topics

Opuntia topics Opuntias are a vast and varied group. They grow on every continent except Antarctica. Prickly pears interact with animals and are used as animal fodder; are affected by the weather; are eaten for food, vitamins and overall health; and even provide a red dye. These articles will help you find out more about …

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Opuntia References

Introduction Multiple references were consulted during the construction of this prickly pear website–Opuntia Web. There are countless confusing references about cacti in general and opuntias in particular; there are often many names that refer to the same species of cactus. We worked our way through them to decide Opuntia names. Generally, we chose names that …

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Opuntia DNA

Opuntia DNA and Ploidy An index to published chromosome information many cacti and prickly pears is at: Index to Plant Chromosome Numbers (IPCN, Tropicos). Another index to many plants is at: Chromosome Counts Database, Rice et al., 2016, Website.  Ploidy information for many Opuntia species of the USA may also be found in “Pricklypears Commonly Found in the United …

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Opuntia Artist: LCC Krieger

Introduction Louis Charles Christopher Krieger (1873-1940)  worked with David Griffiths at the Plant Introduction Garden in Chico, California. Griffiths was interested in the forage potential of prickly pear cacti (Opuntia spp.).  Details Krieger painted a large series of species and forms of Opuntia between 1912 and 1917 for Griffith’s studies. These paintings are in the collection of …

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Opuntia Artist: Mary Emily Eaton

Introduction Mary Emily Eaton (1873-1961) was born on 27 November 1873 in Coleford, Gloucestershire, England.  She  is best known as a botanical artist for her illustrations in The Cactaceae (Britton and Rose, 1919-1923) for which she was the principal illustrator. Details She was employed by the New York Botanical Garden from about 1911 to 1932. Her illustrations are housed at the …

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