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PRICKLY PEARS (Opuntia)

A gencra with edible fruit native to southwestcm United States, Mexico, and South America. Shapes are variable; they may be flat and slab-likc, or cylindrical and many-branched. Most of these cacti are rapid growers and will make sizable pot specimens in one year. Many of the species are hardy; 0. fragilis, for instance, grows wild within the Arctic Circle. Even the hardiest, however, are not practical in eastern gardens, as slush and seasonal rains soon cause them to rot unless they are brought inside during the winter. Whilc only three species are listed, over a hundred are known, and many of them are in cultivation. Grow in full sun with very little moisture.

Opunlia basilaris {short description of image} Southwestern United States. Slab shaped, and branching. Flowers, purple-pink and silky in texture.
Opuntia grandiflora Southwestern United States. Numerous flowers Of Yellow, 3 inches in diameter.
Opuntia polyacantha Southwestern United States. Flowers, deep rich yellow.

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