Opuntia stricta

erect prickly-pear cactus


wildlife plant  


Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: flower
Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 2-3(5) ft    Width: 1-4 ft
Flower Color: flower color      yellow
Fruit Color: fruit color      red
Phenology: evergreen
Noted for: Showy flowers, showy fruits, thorns, interesting foliage


Recommended Uses: Makes an interesting wildflower. Can be used as a low-growing hedge in hot, dry locations.
Considerations: Thorns! The thorns on this plant make weeding around it difficult. Best planted where no one will be walking adjacent to the plant.
Propagation: Planting of fragments.
Availability: Friends
Light: light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Highly salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand


wildlife plant  
Attracts a variety of insect pollinators.
Native Habitats: Coastal dunes, coastal grasslands. This species can be seen at Honeymoon Island State Park in Pinellas County.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range

USDA Zones:

Map is based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in:


Ethnobotany: Fruits and pads are edible.
Other Comments: Rarely grown but definitely worthy of consideration for hot dry locations where little else will grow.