Prickly Pear Cactus

Scientific Name Opuntia Polyacantha
Common Names Prickly Pear Cactus
Nativity  Native; Generally found in the Thicket and Secondary Dune
Medicinal or Edible Section Yes
Medicinal and Edible Uses Branches can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable
Used to treat Pectin in plants can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol


  • Most have red, yellow, or purple flowers
  • Grow from less than a foot to 6-7 feet
  • All have fleshy pads
  • Have small, barbed spines known as glochids


  • Medical community interested in pectin
  • More than 15 different types of varieties

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