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Plant Informational Database

Prickly Pear

Opuntia ficus-indica

a.k.a. Indian Fig, Tuna, Mission Cactus

Red, yellow, and sometimes orange colored fruit with watery pulp usually about the same color as the skin. Fruits vary between plants, but are often mildly sweet and flavorful.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


Bushy cactus, to 10-15ft. Most varieties are spineless, all are near spineless but do contain small sticky hairs called glochids which may fall off when the fruit is ripe, but care should be taken when handling.


The prickly pear is hardy to 15F and can withstand temperatures well above 100F, as it is adapted to desert conditions. Sunset Zones: 8,9, 12-24 , H2 USDA: 8b-10

Growing Environment

It is an exceedingly easy plant to grow in drier climates, and requires almost no water once established. Grow in full sun.


By seed, or by stem cuttings.


Eaten fresh, used in juices. The cactus pads are also eaten as a vegetable.

Native Range

Native to Mexico. Has naturalized throughout the Americas, including portions of Southern California and Arizona.

Related Species

Cereus jamacaru
Pleated Cereus
Cereus repandus
Peruvian Apple Cactus
Cereus validus
Orange Apple Cactus
Hylocereus undatus
Dragon Fruit
Opuntia ficus-indica
Prickly Pear
Pereskia grandiflora
Rose Cactus
Selenicereus megalanthus
Yellow Pitaya