Spineless prickly pear (Opuntia ellisiana) makes a great low maintenance addition to the landscape. They are very heat and drought-tolerant. Spineless prickly pear is ideal for hot dry locations where nothing else will grow, like a sunny south facing wall.
Spineless prickly pears lack the long sharp spines of other varieties but can still stick you with its tiny glochids. Glochids appear as white dots that seem evenly spaced on the prickly pear pads and fruits. Spineless prickly pear can grow 3’- 4’ tall and much wider if left un-managed. Spineless prickly pears flower in late spring or early summer. Flower color changes from yellow to a pink-salmon. Edible fruits, also called tunas, turn red-purple when mature and are used fresh or to make jelly.
It is normal during late fall and the winter months for Spineless prickly pear to wilt (the pads will bend downward). Usually with the onset of freezing night time temperatures the fruits will wilt first.
Then as the colder winter temperatures set in then the pads will also wilt.
When warmer temperatures resume in spring the pads will again stand erect.
Contact Trees That Please Nursery for more information and pricing.
Photos & Narrative By:Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist