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Thornless Prickly Pear
A small cactus with thick, paddle shaped pads, native to the Americas. This cultivar is (mostly) thornless, but it does still produce glochids on the larger pads, which are small barbed hairs which are best avoided, so gloves are a good idea when handling this plant.
Best grown in a pot in a sunny spot, or in a hot dry location in the garden, it prefers full sun.
Tolerant of very poor soils and dry conditions but doesn’t like wet soils. They can handle cold temperatures over winter but they need warm temperatures in order to produce new growth.
This cultivar is not one of the invasive types and is easy to manage.
Thornless prickly pear does produce edible fruit and the larger pads can also be used as a vegetable after the glochids are removed, but the part we like to eat is the small newly formed pads, before they develop any hairs. These can be harvested without gloves and eaten fresh, or cooked into stir fries, soups, nachos and other dishes, and they are particularly good with fried eggs. They have a refreshing tangy, lemon like flavor and a crunchy, juicy texture.
Size: 10cm pot