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Author:Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, United States
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Opuntia humifusa

Devil's-tongue, Eastern Prickly Pear, Indian Fig

In Stock: 0.19 lb (Total:0.19lb)
  • Opuntia humifusa

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Buying options

0.19 lb


Germination test:
Cut (Full Seed)
Seeds per lb:
0.19 lb
Collected in:
British Columbia
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

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. 

Capture the charm of the desert with Opuntia humifusa, commonly known as Devil's-tongue, Eastern Prickly Pear, or Indian Fig. This unique and resilient cactus flourishes in the hot, sunny areas of the eastern United States, northeastern Mexico and Mississippi. The distinct green stems of this perennial cactus are designed for surviving in these torrid conditions, featuring flattened segments covered in barbed bristles and occasionally, longer spines.
The fiery landscape comes alive in late spring when the Opuntia humifusa blooms vibrant yellow to gold flowers, sometimes highlighted with red centers. Measuring up to 2+ inches across, these waxy flowers line the edges of the mature segments on the cactus. As autumn approaches, the cactus bears juicy red or purple fruits, roughly 1 to 2 inches in size. These fruits hide a treasure of 6 to 33 light-colored seeds, transitioning from green to red as they mature, often remaining on the cactus till the next spring.
A truly versatile plant, besides adding a touch of the desert to your garden or home, the Opuntia humifusa has several practical uses. Its fruits are edible and can be processed into syrup or jelly, while the young cactus segments can be roasted, peeled and consumed similarly to string beans. This plant of many names, Devil's-tongue, Eastern Prickly Pear, or Indian Fig, provides an impressive visual spectacle and an interesting culinary experience, making it a unique addition for any cacti enthusiast.

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