Native Plant Database

Callicarpa americana. Photo: Mervin Wallace

Prickly Pear

Opuntia humifusa (compressa)
Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennials
Native Environment: Glade
Season of Interest:
Main Color: Yellow
Fall Color:
Hardy From Zone:
Hardy To Zone:
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

6 to
12
inches

Spread:

12 to
18
inches
Size
Height: 6 to
12
inches
Spread: 12 to
18
inches
Size
Height: 6 to
12
inches
Spread: 12 to
18
inches
Typical Landscape Use
Use in native plant gardens and dry, rocky soil.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Easily grown in full sun in dry, sandy or gravelly, well-drained soil. May be grown in very well-drained clay soil, but pads rot in winter. Plants growing on boulders or gravel do not shrivel or rot in winter.
Special Features
Evergreen
Special Usage
Edible
Basic Description

A winter hardy, evergreen, clump-forming, Missouri native cactus. The round-to-oval, flattened, succulent green pads are not leaves but swollen water-storing stem segments. Pads have a few needle-like spines and are covered with numerous tufts of bristles. Showy, bright yellow and orange 2-3 in. flowers with a reddish eye bloom in June and July. Pulpy red fruits ripen in late summer and are edible, most often being used to make candies and jams. Pods used as food.

Where Should I Start?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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