Category: prickly pear cactus

Romancing the Stallion

I thought this book definitely belonged on my ethnobotany blog, which features so many prickly pear cacti. At first, I couldn’t quite figure out […]

prickly pear glochids and spines

The glochids are the ochre-colored hairlike projections on this native prickly pear cactus, beautiful in close-up, but irritating to the touch. Very protective for […]

prickly pear / tuna juice processing

I love this painting, El Tunero, or Prickly Pear Gatherer, by Fernando Castillo, 1937. Only a few of Castillo’s paintings survive in private collections. […]

prickly pear cactus tuna and cochineal

Cochineal colonizing the prickly pear cactus tunas in my neighborhood. A couple of years ago, I went to a cochineal farm in Oaxaca where they […]

Opuntia robusta / dinner plate prickly pear

Opuntia robusta. What a beautiful plant. These pads are monsters, thick and heavy, and the fruits really round and large. Luther Burbank, who cultivated […]

prickly pear tunas / Opuntia spp.

Lydia Vassar gathering tunas of the prickly pear using kitchen tongs and gloves. These have many more spinas than the Opuntia ficus-indica prickly pear, […]