10 responses to “Opuntia ficus-indica”

  1. deb lievens

    Your picture is very cool, but no mention of what immediately caught my eye: the lichens growing on the spine sites. A lovely orange Xanthoria, I think, plus, but I can’t get enought resolution to go any further. There’s got to be a story there.

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    I’ll try to remember to post a close-up of those lichens later tonight.
    I don’t think this particular plant was happy in its location – it looked “tired”. It’s pretty easy to spot in SBBG though – as soon as you enter the gardens at the main gate, it is pretty much directly in front of you (but up the hill) in the Desert Section.

  3. van in nyc

    Yes, I remember this plant. It did look a bit tired when I was there in March. It was gray and somewhat wilted, but bearing a lot of fruit.

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Here’s a close-up of the lichens:

  5. phillip lacock

    the poor prickly pear says …”hang loose mother goose….there is a fungus among us ”
    extremely healthy pp’s in new mexico….
    to wet in b.c.

  6. Roberta

    Wow, I had no idea you could even grow those in BC. Here in Tucson, they can grow as big as trees (well, not YOUR kind of trees, but pretty big), with a woody trunk.
    They are beautiful when healthy and I wish you had posted a pic of a healthy one. I had no idea that this particular species was the preferred for nopales. I use the tunas from opuntia engelman to make prickly pear jelly. Those are the common ones around here. Where is this Indian fig species native to? I’ve only seen it cultivated here (I’m growing some myself).

  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Hi Roberta,
    This is from the Santa Barbara BG in California. From what I’ve read, this cultigen was thought to have been bred in Mexico, though that isn’t a certainty.

  8. Sidney Sudberg

    I wonder if anyone can help us find an authentic/voucher specimen of Opuntia ficus-indica. We are an independent contract laboratory that need this specimen to identify this species for a client. Does UBC have a live specimen that we could get ~ 100gms to 1 kilo of, that has a voucher of in their herbarium?
    Is there anyone I should speak to about this in particular?
    Thanks in advance,

  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Hello Sidney,
    No, sorry, it isn’t growing in the garden. I’m also fairly certain it isn’t in the herbarium, as I’ve recently looked at some of the BC Opuntia species, and didn’t note anything like this in the cabinet.
    Your best bet is to contact some of the Californian herbaria / botanical gardens.

  10. Jane

    I have spineless prickly pear growing in my yard in Mesa, AZ. I’m interested in growing a prickly pear for eating as a vegetable (nopalitos). Are all prickly pear edible or how can identify this species, the opuntia ficus-indica?

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