Scarification: Soak in hot tap water, let stand in water for 2 days.
Stratification: none required
Germination: sow seed 1/8" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Other: Germination may be irregular and some seed may lie over 2 years before germination.
Opuntia ficus-indica, commonly known as Indian fig opuntia, Barbary fig, cactus pear, spineless cactus, and prickly pear, is a versatile species of cactus with a range of uses. This plant species is primarily grown as a fruit crop, commonly referred to as the "prickly pear" in culinary references. The fruit can be eaten raw, cooked or dried for later use, and has a sweet and gelatinous taste. Opuntia ficus-indica is also used as a vegetable, known as nopales, and its flowers have medicinal properties used to reduce bleeding and treat gastro-intestinal tract problems. This cactus is also used for fodder, soil erosion prevention, and in adobe to bind and waterproof roofs. Opuntia ficus-indica requires a well-drained soil and plenty of sun, making it a great crop for arid and semiarid regions. This versatile cactus is an economically important crop plant, having agricultural value throughout the world.