Opuntia macrorhiza Twist-spine Prickly Pear Cactus Plants & Seeds
(op-UN-shee-uh ) (Opuntia compressa)
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Plants & Seed for Home Landscaping and Prairie Restoration
|Habitat||Bloom Period||Color||Height Inches||Moisture||Plant Spacing||Lifespan|
|Sun to lt. shade||May June||lemon yellow||5" long pads in clusters up to 12" high||dry
well drained soil
|6 to 18 inches||Perennial|
Opuntia macrorhiza Hardy Prickly Pear Cactus potted plants are available, $5.00 each plus UPS shipping. Please contact us by email with your address & zip code for shipping charges on potted plants
For other flowers visit the wildflower
seed list or the Potted Plant List
to order prickly
Pear Cactus seed/plants copy the order
or email questions, comments, and orders to john
1 packet - sold out of seeds
1 ounce - ----------
|950 -- 1000||400|
1 pound ----------
Opuntia humifusa Prickly Pear potted plants are $5 each plus UPS shipping
Seed shipping chart at bottom of page
humifusa is also know as Opuntia compressa or Opuntia humifusa
Common names include – Common Prickly-pear, Plains Prickly Pear, Devil’s Tongue, Twist-spine Prickly-pear, Twistspine Pricklypear, Bigroot Pricklypear
Twistspine Pricklypear Cactus is a low growing, spreading succulent cactus with enlarged
fleshy, spiny, green pads and lemon yellow flowers. The showy yellow
flowers are 3 to 4 inches across and bloom in May and June. Flowers are
very showy but plants only bloom for a few days. Prickly
Pear Cactus is found growing
wild in colonies on glades of
limestone, sandstone, and igneous rock and sandy fields and pastures throughout
the Ozarks and most of the Midwest and eastern USA. Opuntia
macrorhiza was considered to be a variety of Opuntia
humifusa but is now listed as a separate species. Prickly Pear Cactus
is also known as Opuntia compressa.
The common name Prickly Pear refers to the red, bristly, pearlike fruit.
Native Americans ate the fruit, pads, buds, and flowers raw, cooked, or dried. Prickly
Pear Cactus plants are grown in the wild flower rock garden as a focal point or
can be grown inside as a potted plant.
Prickly pear cactus plants, when growing wild, often lay flat or near the ground. Under optimal garden conditions prickly pear will grow one to two feet tall and produce larger pads. They thrive in rock gardens or containers and can be effective in a mixed planting, borders and natural areas. Hardy prickly pear is low-growing and its brilliant yellow flowers and meandering pads are a welcome addition to the sunny flower garden.
Prickly Pear (Opuntia macrorhiza) is a hardy cactus native to the United States
east of the Rockies and grows wild in dry, sandy soils in open pine woods,
prairies, pastures, and dry rocky glades. Native Opuntia humifusa prickly pear
cactus is a prostrate or spreading cactus with oblong, flattened pads 2 to 8
inches (5.1-15.2 cm) long with sharp spines. (Some individuals don't have
spines.) Prickly pear spines are
easy enough to avoid, but watch out for the tiny hairlike bristles (glochids)
that occur in little tufts over the pad. They are barbed and treacherous!
Prickly Pear Cactus has showy bright yellow 3 to 4 inch wide flowers that
appear in mid summer. The edible
reddish green fruits are called tunas and are 2-3 in long. The pulp is ruby red
and tastes a little like watermelon.
There are over 200 species of prickly pear cactuses in southwestern North America, Mexico, Central America and South America.
Prickly pear prefers full sun but will grow in light shade and is easy to grow,
rooting readily from pads stuck in the ground, or even just lying on the
surface. It is drought tolerant but
doesn't like soggy conditions.
The map below
shows areas where Opuntia
macrorhiza, Twistspine Prickly pear
plants grow wild but they can be planted and will grow over
most of the US.
USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Opuntia macrorhiza, Twistspine PricklyPear Cactus
|AR, AZ, CO, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, MN, MO, MT, NE, NM, OH, OK, SD, TX, UT, WI, WY|
For other flowers visit the wildflower seed list , to order Opuntia macrorhiza, Twistspine Prickly pear Cactus seeds copy the order form or email questions, comments, and orders to john
Use the chart below for shipping charges on Opuntia macrorhiza, Twistspine Prickly pear Cactus seeds
Please contact us by email with your address for shipping charges & availability on potted plants
We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal
The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different
Sold out of Prickly Pear Cactus seeds at this time
subtotal for flower seeds
shipping charge for seeds
|seed orders up to $20.00 =||$3.00 shipping|
|$20.01 - $50.00 =||$4.00 shipping|
|$50.01-$100.00 =||$5.00 shipping|
over $100.00 = 5 % of subtotal
wildflower seed list
plant list wildflower book
growing and propagating info invasive plants list flower photographs
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PO Box 522
Willow Springs, Mo. 65793
macrorhiza, Twistspine Prickly pear
Cactus plant distribution map
complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
(http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Easily grown in dry, sandy or gravelly, well-drained soils in full sun. May be grown in clay soils as long as drainage is good and soils do not remain wet. Tuberous roots. Plants often spread in the wild to form colonies as pads break off and root nearby. Similarly, plants are easily propagated by cuttings: previous year's pads may be severed at the joint during the growing season, dried for a week and then planted directly in the garden (joint wound down) or in a potting medium. May also be grown from seed with moderate difficulty.
This species of prickly pear cactus is a clump-forming, semi-prostrate, Missouri native cactus which typically grows 6-14" tall. It occurs over a large geographic range, from Idaho to Wisconsin south to Louisiana and Arizona, but is rare in Missouri where it occurs in certain rocky glades and ledges and rocky open ground in only three counties in the State. It features jointed, round-to-oval, flattened, succulent green pads (4-6" long) which are not leaves but swollen water-storing stem segments. Each pad typically has scattered needle-like spines (1-6 per areole) which are deflexed (turn downward). However, pads are covered with numerous tufts of bristles (glochids) which easily pierce human skin and can cause significant allergic skin reactions. Showy, 2-3" diameter, bright yellow flowers, sometimes with a reddish eye, have 8-12 yellow rays and a bushy clump of yellow center stamens. Flowers bloom in June-July. Pulpy, red fruits (to 2") ripen in late summer to fall and are edible, most often being used to make candies and jams. Native Americans not only ate the fruits (fresh, cooked or dried for winter), but also roasted the pads as a vegetable and used the sap for certain medicinal applications. In autumn, the pads become quite shriveled and begin to lie down as the plants withdraw water in preparation for winter. Though technically evergreen, the plants become quite scraggly in appearance during winter. However, the pads green up quickly in spring. Several descriptive regional common names have been given to this plant, including tuberous-rooted prickly pear, twistspine prickly pear and plains prickly pear. It is similar in appearance to the more common Missouri native prickly pear, Opuntia compressa (syn. Opuntia humifusa), and was once considered to be a variety of this species. Opuntia macrorhiza differs from O. compressa in three main ways: (1) it has thicker tuberous roots as opposed to the fibrous roots of O. compresa, and (2) it tends to have more than one stout spine (up to 6) per areole, and (3) stout spines are deflexed (turn downward).