Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Prickly Cactus Monday

This work of art is called Opuntia neoargentina!

This Happy Cactus Monday I think I'm going to do a full blog post since I haven't done one in quite a few days. This post will mostly be about Opuntia cactus. So HCM everyone!

Opuntia are also called "Prickly Pear" or "Nopal" cactus. In Mexico the fruit of the prickly pad is called "Tuna". There are about 200 species of opuntia "I thought there were more".

This is one of two Prickly's that are huge against my back fence. Don't be jumpin our fence cause you will be in the hospital. I have to trim them twice a year. They grow really fast and I planted them with only two pads each about 6 years ago. Wow! To start a new prickley from another all you need is one pad. You wait for the cut part to harden off (about a week) then put 1/3 of it in soil. Some take longer to root than others but they are easy to start.

Opuntia engelmannii var subarmata

I love this prickly so much. It is in the front of my house in a planter running the length of my garage. It grows really slow but the pads get huge. They are about the size of dinner plates if not bigger. This is last year's photo and this year it only got 2 new pads. It get's huge fruit that are bright and red. I think I posted one before on HCM.

Opuntia Microdasys

You do not want to mess with this one. It looks soft and cuddly but each of those cute dots has 100's of teeney tiny spines. They are hard to get out of your fingers because they are hard to see.

Opuntia microdasys var rafida
These are really small, haven't seen a bloom yet.

This is Opuntia Santa rita blooming. One of my favorites.

This is a pretty blue one that has a lot of growth this year. I don't know the name though and wish I did. I may have to post to Flickr and see if anyone knows the name. There are practically no spines on this one but they are there and sooooo teeney!

Another with elongated pads flowering! Thanks to Teri we have a name for this one it's : Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis or Cow's tongue!

Another one with no name that I got from a friend.

Opuntia vestita

I have a couple more but I don't have good pictures of them yet. So maybe later I will post them for you. Hope you enjoy these. If you have any questions just ask and hopefully I will be able to answer them for you! Enjoy!


Evelyn said...

HCM / Happy Opuntia Monday ! You sure have lots of them. I love their flowers - very pretty.
ps. I saw a show on tv where they cook the pads - are these all edible?

soulbrush said...

you are right, they are all works of art. happy cactus monday and have i ever said this- i envy you having these beauties.

Teri C said...

Great post, so informative!!!

The one with the elongated pads is something called 'cow's tongue' or so I've been told.

I attend a class that actually cooked those napolitos in a salsa and are very tasty! They sell them at Food City in Tucson but I have personally never cooked them.

Thanks for all the great photos and info.


Margaret Ann said...

Beautiful lush plants...Thanks for sharing them with us...I have had an encounter with the soft velvety one you spoke about while transplanting...Spines were embedded for days! OUCH! :)
HAppy Cactus Monday! :)

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Thanks everyone! Yes Evelyn you can eat the pads. Usually they pick the young pads because the older they get the more fibrous they get. I have never done it because I don't want to scrap off all the spines. After that they cut them up and cook them in lots of different ways. You can even buy them canned in the Mexican food section.

Soulbrush you can have some too. Some prickley pears do well in very cold weather. And they do not require much care.

Thanks Teri! That class must have been fun.

And Margaret I have had the same encounter. Some on my hands and some arms and legs. All it takes is a gentle brush against them. Yikes!

Megan said...

Nice!!!! Love opuntias. About a year ago I knocked our microdasys off the table and caught it with my bare hand... Had to cover my hand with elmer's glue and peel it off to get all the tiny spines out. It's in the ground now, and much happier.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Ouch Megan! But that is a good way to get out stickers. It's the waiting for the glue to dry that's the hardest.

Julie said...

Hi Candy! Sorry so late getting around to commenting...had to work yesteday and then dinner with a it is early Tuesday already!!!

Lovely cactus here! You know who would probably be able to I.D. your blue cactus is Aiyana over at Water When Dry. She is a doll and has the most amazing backyard and cactus! You can do a search at the top of her blog too.

My fav of your photos here is the Opuntia microdasys var rafida! The color is so neat! I have seen a cactus called Cinnamon Cactus, and wondered if this was it, or is that a different one???

Happy late Cactus Monday!!!!! :)

Diane AZ said...

What a wonderful collection of Pricklies you have. I particularly like that elongated one and the kind that has the "cute dots." :)

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Yes Julie, another name for the rafida is cinnamon cactus. And thanks for the tip on Water When Dry. Love her blog and will follow!

Abby Lanes said...

I almost wonder if we're neighbors. It looks like you live in California or is that just my imagination. Anyway, your succulents look happy and healthy. Lovely post!

lostlandscape (James) said...

I love this genus, and I really love your Santa Rita! My neighbors have the culinary kind that is virtually without spines. I say "virtually" because there are just enough little glochids to remind you it's a cactus. No pain, no cactus.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

I gotcha James. No pain then it's not a cactus. Except sometimes those euphorbia's and yucca's can bite.