Opuntia spp.

Photo by Shirley Denton. Photograph belongs to the photographer who allows use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8A 8B 9A 9B 

QR code FNPSlogo

2002-2022, Copyright Florida Native Plant Society

Erect Prickly-pear Cactus


Also known as Opuntia humifusa, Opuntia stricta, O. mesacantha. O. austrina

Plant Specifics

Size:2-3 (rarely 5) ft ft tall by 1-4 ft ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Yellow
Fruit Color:Red
Habitats:Coastal dunes, coastal grasslands.


Recommended Uses:Makes an interesting wildflower. Can be used as a low-growing hedge in hot, dry locations.
Light: Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
Moisture Tolerance: Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of occasional/brief inundation such as can occur in storm surges.
Salt Spray Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).



Nectar plant for Meske's skipper (Hesperia meskei) butterflies.

Attracts a variety of insect pollinators.

Bees documented visiting Opuntia humifusa include Agapostemon splendens, Augochlorella aurata, Augochloropsis sumptuosa, Dialictus nymphalis, D. tegularis, Halictus ligatus, Dianthidium floridiense, Lithurgus gibbosus, Megachile brevis pseudobrevis, M. policaris, M. texana, Melissodes communis, Apis mellifera, Bombus impatiens, B. pennsylvanicus and Xylocopa virginica krombeini (Deyrup et al. 2002).