Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica)

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Mexican Tuna (aka Prickly Pear, Barbary Fig, or Wheel Cactus) fruit is sweet and juicy and rich in antioxidants.  It has beautiful deep red or orange color inside and out. The flavor can be likened to strawberry and watermelon. Mexican Tuna fruit can be peeled and eaten raw or made into syrup, jelly, jam, candy, dried, juiced, or even fermented into beer, wine or kombucha! The fruit is high in amino acids, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, water, carbohydrates,  protein, minerals, vitamin C, and beta carotene.  The blue-green cactus pads are large, round, and flat. 

The Mexican Tuna cactus plant can tolerate a wide range of soil types, temperature and moisture levels, however it grows best in sunny, dry, desert-like conditions. On average, they will grow to be about 7 ft tall to 7 ft wide. Pads range from 4 to 10 inches and fruit is typically the size of a fist.  

How to Grow Prickly Pear

Plant Type: Fruiting Cactus

Harvest Season: Spring - Summer

Mature Size: 5-10 ft. tall and 10-15 ft. wide

Soil & Moisture: Dry, sandy, well-draining soil. Thrives in a cactus soil blend or even rough pumice.

Exposure: Full Sun

Zone Hardiness: 7-11

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