Indian Fig Opuntia, Barberry Fig, Cactus Pear, Prickly Pear Cactus Opuntia ficus-indica

Detailed Listing For
Botanical Name:

Opuntia ficus-indica







Common Name:

Indian Fig Opuntia, Barberry Fig, Cactus Pear, Prickly Pear Cactus

12-16 feet
Minimum Hardiness Zone:

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  • Opuntia ficus-indica

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Growing Info, follow in order:
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.
In a Nutshell:
* Opuntia ficus-indica is a species of cactus that has long been a domesticated crop plant important in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world. It is thought probably to have originated in Mexico.
* Some of the common English names for the plant and its fruit are Indian fig opuntia, Barbary fig, cactus pear, spineless cactus, and prickly pear, although this last name has also been applied to other less common Opuntia species.
* In Mexican Spanish, the plant is called nopal, while the fruit is called tuna, which are names also used in American English, especially as culinary terms.
* Fig opuntia is grown primarily as a fruit crop, but also for the vegetable nopales and other uses. Most culinary references to the "prickly pear" are referring to this species. more...
* The fruit is eaten raw, cooked or dried for later use. Sweet and gelatinous. Very refreshing, they are somewhat like a watermelon in flavour. The fruits are up to 10cm long and 9cm wide.
* Requires a sandy or very well-drained soil. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5. Plants must be kept fairly dry in the winter but they like a reasonable supply of water in the growing season. A position at the base of a south-facing wall or somewhere that can be protected from winter rain is best for this plant. Requires warmth and plenty of sun.
* The flowers are astringent and are used to reduce bleeding and treat problems of the gastro-intestinal tract, especially diarrhoea, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. The flowers are also used in the treatment of an enlarged prostate gland. more...
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