Question About Prickly Pear Cactus

Filed Under: Cactus and Succulents · Keywords: My, Cactus, Up · 964 Views
My cactus doesn't have sharp spines. They are rather flexible and can be easily touched. They are the same color as the cactus itself and not at all sharp. Is my cactus even a prickly pear cactus? Whenever I look it up all the pictures are of long, sharp spines. It looks exactly like the one in your picture. Thanks!

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Chloe-Living in Southern California I have seen many of the Prickly Pear cactus (Opuntia). There are several species of the commonly called Prickly Pear cactus. The plant you have is most likely considered a Prickly Pear Cactus. Unfortunately I am not knowledgable of the differences in the different species characteristics but know that many of them look somewhat alike in size, pad and flower color, and spines. I do know that there are some species considered spineless that have no to very few spines. Although their spines look like the other species their spines are solft and can easily fall off when touched. Opuntia cacanapa 'Ellisiana' is one spineless species I found. Opuntia helleri is another species that would look like the cactus you have. It has soft and flexible spines as you have mentioned your cactus has but still looks like many of the other Prickly pear varieties. Unless you can find some information on the exact species you have, possible from whoever you acquired your plant from, it may be hard to identify the exact plant you have. If you would like to upload a picture of your plant and an upclose picture of the leaf (pad) which is actually the plants stem it may help myself and others to correctly identify it. If you give me your city and state it may also help to find which species will grow in your location. You can also copy and past a few of the species I mentioned in Google Images to see how closely they match the plant you have.


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