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Opuntia polyacantha - Haw.
                 
Common Name Plains Prickly Pear, El Paso pricklypear, Grizzlybear pricklypear, Navajo Bridge pricklypear, Hairsp
Family Cactaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards The plant has numerous minutely barbed glochids (hairs) that are easily dislodged when the plant is touched and they then become stuck to the skin where they are difficult to see and remove. They can cause considerable discomfort[200].
Habitats Dry prairies, sand hills and rocks[204].
Range N. America - British Columbia to Oregon and Texas
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Full sun

Summary

Opuntia polyacantha Plains Prickly Pear, El Paso pricklypear, Grizzlybear pricklypear, Navajo Bridge pricklypear, Hairsp


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Opuntia polyacantha Plains Prickly Pear, El Paso pricklypear, Grizzlybear pricklypear, Navajo Bridge pricklypear, Hairsp
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Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Opuntia polyacantha is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds; East Wall. By. South Wall. By.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Gum.

Fruit - raw or dried for later use[216, 257]. The dried fruit can be mixed into stews or used to thicken soups[183]. The fruit is dry and spiny[200]. It is up to 3cm long[235]. Young pads are boiled and fried[183, 257]. The large hairs are burnt off, the pads are boiled and the remaining thorns washed off. The pads are then dipped in a syrup made from boiling sweetcorn seeds and then eaten[216]. Seed - dried, parched and ground into a meal, then added to flour and used in making cakes etc[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Diuretic.

The stems are astringent and diuretic[257]. An infusion is used in the treatment of diarrhoea[257]. A poultice of the flesh has been used to treat skin sores, infections, wounds and back aches[257].
Other Uses
Dye;  Gum;  Mordant.

The peeled stems have been used as a mordant in fixing dyes[257]. A pink to red dye is obtained from the fruit[257]. A gum is obtained from the stem that can be used as an adhesive[257].
Cultivation details
Requires a sandy or very well-drained soil[160]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5[200]. Must be kept fairly dry in winter but likes a reasonable supply of water in the growing season[200]. A position at the base of a south-facing wall or somewhere that can be protected from winter rain is best for this plant. Requires warmth and plenty of sun. Plants tolerate considerable neglect. This species is very cold tolerant and can succeed outdoors in a selected site in many areas of the country[200].
Propagation
Seed - sow early spring in a very well-drained compost in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection from winter wet. Make sure you have some reserve plants in case those outdoors do not overwinter. Cuttings of leaf pads at any time in the growing season. Remove a pad from the plant and then leave it in a dry sunny place for a couple of days to ensure that the base is thoroughly dry and has begun to callous. Pot up into a sandy compost. Very easy, rooting quickly.

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Opuntia compressaEastern Prickly Pear, Prickly Pear Cactus31
Opuntia erinaceaMojave Prickly Pear20
Opuntia ficus-indicaPrickly Pear, Barbary fig32
Opuntia fragilisPrickly Pear, Brittle pricklypear21
Opuntia howeyi 20
Opuntia imbricataTree Chola20
Opuntia littoralisWestern Prickly Pear20
Opuntia macrorhizaTwist-Spine Prickly Pear20
Opuntia microdasysBunny Ears, Angel's-wings20
Opuntia phaeacanthaBastard Fig, Tulip pricklypear21
Opuntia ramosissimaBranched Pencil Cholla30
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Author
Haw.
Botanical References
200204
Links / References
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Subject : Opuntia polyacantha  

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